Tuesday, July 31, 2012

PSA: Babies and Shopping Carts

A friend posted this tragic story on Facebook last night of a baby who died from falling from the top of a shopping cart while strapped in his car seat. What makes this story so unbelievably sad is that it is 100% avoidable. Don't put infant seats on the top of shopping carts.

There is a wide misconception that babies are safe in this position. I see it every.single.time. we go shopping. Usually more than once. It takes a lot of restraint for me not to say something to the parents I see who do this. Part of me thinks I should say something but I just know I would come off more bitchy than helpful.

I think what tricks parents into thinking it's safe is because most infant seats "click" in to cart, making it sound secure. It's not. Car seats are meant to snap in to their bases (and strollers) securely, not shopping carts.

From day one we put Harry's infant seat in the basket of the cart. I actually got a few strange looks with Harry in the basket, but I'd rather get 1000 strange looks than put him on the top. And unfortunately I think I've only seen ONE other mom do the same thing as us. It happened at Target a few weeks ago and I nearly ran up to her to thank her.

Pouty, but safely inside the basket of the cart
The only time I felt a little iffy about our shopping cart situation was at JoAnns back in February.

His seat was in the main part of the cart but the carts at JoAnns are so small. But believe me, my hand never let go of his car seat while we were shopping!

Here are some ideas of what you can do instead of putting your baby's infant seat on the top of a shopping cart.

- Use your stroller! Most strollers have a basket underneath where you can put your items. If you need more room, grab a hand basket.
- You'd actually be surprised at how much a cart can still hold without burying the baby resting safely in the basket, so you could just do your shopping as you normally do.
- Bring a friend! I've mentioned it many times on my blog before, but we usually do a family shopping trip once a week or so. It's a mini tradition for our family and it stemmed from not knowing what to do with Harry while shopping. One of us would push the shopping cart and the other would push Harry in his stroller. Now that Harry's bigger he can sit in the cart but we still all usually go shopping together.

- Go shopping more often. This probably isn't the most realistic option, but if you usually do one large shopping trip every week or two with your baby on top of the cart you could go more often with your baby in the main basket.
- Use a grocery delivery service, like Peapod.
- Use a cart with a built in infant carrier. Our Target has carts that look like this. We never used one, but it's a great idea!
- Wear your baby in an infant carrier or wrap while you shop!
-While doing research for this post I found a blogger who puts her child in the Bumbo seat in the cart basket. While I don't recommend this, it's another option and I imagine it is safer than having the infant seat on the top of the cart.

How ever and whenever you go shopping, please, please, please don't put your baby on the top of the cart. It's incredibly dangerous and there are many other options.

Fun Finds
-Grocery Headquarters: Keeping Infants Safe 
-A Dangerous Combination
-WebMD: Many Car Seat Injuries Occur Outside the Car
-AAP: Shopping Cart Dangers

And don't forget that Cloth Diaper Month starts tomorrow!


  1. I guess I never realized how unsafe it was... thanks for posting! Our carseat this time around I read in the reviews is too large to put up front in a cart, so I had planned on probably wearing him in the moby, since I'll have two with me... and we usually do one shopping trip a week so I need most of the space in the cart.

    1. That's great that the seat is too large to fit in the cart, they probably made it that way on purpose! I hope the Moby works for you. I know lots of people love it but I just couldn't get the hang of it.

  2. Great entry!! Baby wearing is also wonderful. I've been using the Boba carrier.

    1. Thanks, Julia! I wish Harry and I both liked baby wearing more, the Boba carriers look awesome! I just have a cheapy one that we've only used a handfull of times.

  3. I'm so glad i found this blog post! My husband and I have had several arguements over this, he thinks as long as you aren't driving the cart crazy and running all over the baby is fine on top of the cart, just as you said, because it "clicks." He's given into me putting our daughter into the basket just because he doesn't want to argue, but I appreciate being able to show him there are a lot of other people out there trying to get the information out. I had no idea how dangerous it really is to have your baby in their seat, on top of the cart, and it makes me sick to my stomach and thankful at the same time that nothing happened to my first son.

  4. Glad I could help out! Thanks for commenting, and putting your daughter in the basket of the cart :)

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