Most parents would never imagine that something as ordinary as a shopping cart could pose a danger to their child. But the fact is, shopping cart accidents send an average of 66 kids to an emergency room somewhere in the United States every single day. That translates to about one child every 22 minutes!
Shopping cart falls and other accidents can lead to concussions, closed head injuries, broken bones, and even wrongful death. The child injury firm’s highly trained and experienced shopping cart accident lawyers and attorneys are committed to obtaining fair compensation for victims and their families. To learn more, please contact our office today at 1-877-875-2927.
Shopping Cart Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), nearly 122,000 children under the age of 5 received emergency medical treatment for shopping cart-related injuries from 2003 through 2008. The most frequently reported shopping cart accidents included:
- Falls: The majority of kids were hurt when they fell from a shopping cart. These falls included incidents that occurred while a child was either seated, standing, or climbing out of the cart.
- Collisions: Most collisions involved a cart running into or over a child. However, shopping carts also collided with other objects when children were seated in the cart.
- Tip-Over: Kids fell from carts that tipped over. In some cases, a shopping cart to fell onto a child.
- Entrapment: These injuries occurred when a child’s limbs or fingers became stuck somewhere in the cart. For example, tiny fingers were caught in the spokes of a shopping cart’s wheels.
Common Shopping Cart Injuries
Most of the kids involved in these shopping cart accidents – 84% — sustained injuries to the head and face, including concussions, closed (internal) head injuries, and soft tissue injures. The remaining children suffered injuries to their arms or hands (9%), legs (5%), and torso (1%). The exact nature of the injury wasn’t apparent in about 2% of the shopping cart accidents analyzed by the CPSC.
While the Commission published voluntary shopping cart standards in 2004, accidents and injuries have continued to rise. According to a 2014 study published in Clinical Pediatrics, roughly 530,494 children younger than 15 received emergency treatment for shopping cart injuries from 1990 through 2011.
During that time, the annual rate of cart-related concussions and closed head injuries increased from 3,483 in 1990 to 12,333 in 2011. Most of this increase occurred among children age 4 and younger.
Falls remained the most commonly reported shopping cart accidents. In one such case, a 3-year-old fatally struck his head after standing in a shopping cart and falling over backward. In another, a 3-month old infant died after his car seat fell from a shopping cart as it rolled over a speed bump in a grocery store parking lot.
Why are Shopping Carts So Dangerous for Kids?
A dangerous shopping cart accident can happen in an instant.
A wriggly baby or a toddler can easily fall from a cart if they reach for an item on a shelf, especially if the restraint system is missing or broken. Children have a higher center of gravity, their heads are heavy relative to the rest of the body, and their arms aren’t strong enough to break a fall.
The CPSC’s voluntary standard requires restraint systems and a warning label on shopping carts. It also encourages retailers to display a warning poster in their stores. However, the United States lacks stability standards for shopping carts that already exist in several other countries.
The authors of the 2014 study recommended a few ways to make shopping carts safer, including:
- Widening the wheelbase to prevent tip-overs.
- Improved safety standards for restraint systems.
- Placing the child seating area closer to the ground to prevent tip-over accidents and reduce serious fall injuries.
They also proposed efforts to educate parents on the safe use of shopping carts, store-wide broadcasts encouraging the use of safety belts, and enlisting store employees to remind parents to use shopping cart restraints.
Children and Shopping Carts: Safety Tips
To prevent shopping cart falls and other accidents:
- Whenever possible, choose an alternative to placing your child in a shopping cart.
- Use seatbelts to restrain your child in a shopping cart.
- Don’t use a shopping cart if the restraint system is broken or missing.
- Stay with your child at all times.
- Don’t allow your son or daughter to ride in the shopping cart basket.
- Never place an infant carrier in the car seat or basket.
- Don’t allow your child to ride or climb on the sides or front of the cart.
- Don’t allow an older kid to push the cart with another child in it.
- If available, use a cart with a child seat low to the ground.
Unfortunately, shopping carts that are poorly designed or in a state of disrepair can cause accidents, injuries, and wrongful death even when parents have taken all possible precautions.
Jeffrey Killino is an experienced child injury lawyer and can help with shopping cart accidents. Jeff Killino is also a dedicated child advocate working to prevent accidental deaths and injuries from ever occurring again. If your son or daughter was the victim of a shopping cart accident, please do not hesitate to contact us at 1-877-875- 2927.