A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that more than 24,000 children are injured in shopping cart accidents every year. Almost 21,000 of those injured are children under the age of 5 years old. Almost 80 percent of the injuries children receive are to their head and face.
The study looked at emergency room statistics from 2008 to 2012. During that time, over 107,000 children younger than 5 years old were treated for injuries sustained from a shopping cart. Sixty percent of those children were 1 and 2 years of age.
The study used the following definitions to describe what the hazard was with the shopping cart that caused the injuries:
- Fall – The child fell from the cart when no other “hazard” was involved. This includes the child falling out of the cart when standing up, or falling while trying to climb out of the cart;
- Collision – These accidents involved the collision of more than one shopping cart; it also includes shopping carts running into or over a child;
- Tip over – The shopping cart tipped over with the child inside;
- Contact – This was used to describe accidents where the child had general contact with the cart, such as receiving cuts from a cart or bumping into it;
- Incidental – This description was used when the child was injured near a cart, but the accident did not directly involve the cart; i.e. the child fell while walking and hit a cart;
- Entrapment – The child got a finger or limb caught in some part of the shopping cart, including its wheels.
The Baby Center offers these tips to help keep children safe:
- If possible, do not use the shopping cart to place your child. Instead use strollers or carriages;
- If you do have to use a shopping cart, always use the child restraint belts in the cart. If the belt is broken, use another cart. Make sure the child is placed in the cart properly, with each leg in its own leg opening. Keep the belt fitted snuggly around the child;
- Make sure the child remains seated in the cart;
- Stay with the child and shopping cart at all times;
- Never place infant seats on top of a shopping cart.
Retail establishments have an obligation to customers to keep shopping carts in good working order, including the safety belts in the carts. If your child has sustained injuries from a broken shopping cart, contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have.