Shopping Cart Accidents Increase to 66 a Day

Friday, January 31, 2014

Going to the grocery store can be harmful for children if shopping carts are involved, according to a new study that found an average of 66 kids a day in the United States are hurt in such incidents.


Research published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics shows a child visits an emergency room every 22 minutes because of shopping-cart related injuries. The figure was based on data collected from 1990 to 2011, during which time more than 500,000 children under the age of 15 were treated in ERs after being hurt in a shopping cart. The yearly average came out to more than 24,000 a year.


Kids under the age of five are the ones that parents should pay the most attention to, according to the study. Eighty-five percent of the injuries occurred to the youngest children—between newborn and age four.


Most injuries (70%) occur from kids falling out of the carts, followed by collisions with carts, carts tipping over, and limbs getting trapped in a cart.


Nearly 80% of all injuries involved the head. The researchers found concussions and internal head injuries increased by more than 200% during the study period, from 3,483 in 1990 to 12,333 in 2011. Most of the increase related to injuries to toddlers and infants.


Ten years ago, voluntary shopping cart safety standards were introduced in the U.S., but they have done little good, the researchers said.


“The findings from our study show that the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety are not adequate,” Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said in a news release.


“Not only have the overall number of child injuries associated with shopping carts not decreased since implementation of the safety standards, but the number of concussions and closed head injuries is actually increasing,” Smith said. “It is time we take action to protect our children by strengthening shopping cart safety standards with requirements that will more effectively prevent tip-overs and falls from shopping carts.”


Other countries have stability standards for shopping carts that the U.S. has failed to adopt, Smith pointed out.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Shopping Carts Can Pose Big Danger to Little Kids (by Robert Preidt, HealthDay)

Shopping Cart Danger: 66 Kids Hurt a Day, Study Finds (by JoNel Aleccia, NBC News)


Leave a comment