In the habit of placing your kid in the shopping cart seat as you browse around the supermarket for daily supplies? It may not be as safe a practice as you think it is.
As you roam around worry-free, thinking that your child is safe from wandering off since they are in the cart, there are high chances that at this very moment a ‘shopping cart accident’ might take place, making you rush with your child straight to the ER. You may be looking at the cereal section one moment, and at the next, you may find yourself staring with horror at your baby on the floor with a toppled shopping cart on top of them.
Scary as this may sound, it is actually true. While the stats and figures for this phenomenon in India are yet unknown, those from the US paint an alarming picture, which should make you rethink shopping cart safety rules.
What do the stats point out?
First up, a study conducted by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, has revealed that 24,000 children aged 15 and under are not lucky enough to escape a shopping cart accident and associated injuries. The study went on to present more statistics, stating that between the years 1990 and 2011, a total of 530,494 kids have been injured while in shopping carts, which translates to 66 children per day visiting the ER with their parents for related injuries. The study also mentioned that nearly 70.4% of the injuries are caused by falling from the shopping cart.
That’s not all. The same study pointed out to the most alarming aspect of shopping cart falls, which was that 78.1% of all injuries that take place were to the heads of children. The commonest of them were soft tissue injuries, although internal head injuries and concussions are not far behind. According to the study, the number for these has increased from 3,483 in the year 1990 to 12,333 in the year 2011. A majority of the children to suffer from the injuries, the report stated, were four years and younger.
The next study points to even bleaker statistics. Data released by the Rosenbaum Injury Firm stated that 75% of children aged younger than five years suffered from head injuries after falling from shopping carts and that among them 92% were children below the age of one year.
So what causes this?
One of the biggest reasons for such terrible mishaps is placing your child’s car seat on top of the shopping cart. This can dis-balance the cart, leading to terrible and sometimes even fatal falls.
The other problem lies in the design of the shopping cart itself, as the child’s seat is towards the upper side rather than nearer to the floor. The latter can minimize the impact of falls and even reduce the chances of the cart toppling over.
Is there anything you can do to keep your child safe?
There are some things you can do to prevent your child from going through such a mishap. The first is rather obvious but not always possible, which is leaving your child home when you take a trip to the mall. Secondly, you can bring someone along with you to push the cart and keep an eye on the baby. If you can think of no such person, you can get a babysitter. Thirdly, you can opt for shopping at malls, which have a safe play area for your child to stay in as you run errands. And lastly, if you need to keep your child in the cart, make sure that you strap them on securely with the help of a belt.
Prevention will always be better than cure so make sure that you take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of your child and the peace of your mind.
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