(StatePoint) From checking off every item on your shopping list to negotiating crowded aisles to minding the kids, a trip to the grocery store can be anything but simple for parents.
For parents of infants, this everyday errand is even more of a juggling act. While many resort to balancing the baby carrier on the top part of their shopping carts, statistics reveal this maneuver is dangerous.
In fact, falls from shopping carts are the leading cause of head injuries in young children, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), accounting for tens of thousands of injuries annually. Approximately 16,000 children under the age of five fall out of shopping carts each year, the CPSC estimates, and infant carriers falling from the cart have accounted for as much as five percent of these falls.
For safer shopping, follow these tips from Safe-Strap, the inventors of the shopping cart seat belt:
• Despite the appearance that some carriers are designed to fit on top of a shopping cart, this isn’t the case. Manufacturers of car seats and infant carriers even warn against using their products with shopping carts. Instead, use a cart outfitted with a docking station, such as Safe- Dock, the first universal infant carrier docking station for shopping carts, which allows parents to easily transition their baby carrier from the car to the cart.
• When possible, shop with a second adult or older child, who can attend to the baby while you gather groceries.
• Be sure every child riding in a shopping cart seat is wearing a safety belt or harness.
• Make your local stores safer for children. Retailers are constantly seeking feedback from customers. The next time you are at the store, tell the manager you want carts with infant carrier docks. If you notice a cart with a missing or broken shopping cart seat belt, let a manger know.
• Learn more about shopping cart safety and locate stores with carts specially fitted with the new universal infant carrier docking system at www.ShoppingCartSafety.com.
Even parents with the best intentions sometimes don’t always know about shopping cart dangers. By spreading the word to your friends and family with young children, you can make shopping a safer experience for everyone.