ANDERSON — Kit Bush wants stronger safety measures for children in shopping carts.
“I’m glad they have seat belts, but they still have a lot of wiggle room and sometimes they are hard to adjust,” she said.
Bush, 32, of Anderson said she puts her 16-month-old son, Gideon, in the shopping carts specially designed with a toy car in the front that are available at some local grocery stores.
The problem is the specialized carts are not widely available and children can still sustain injuries in them.
According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, every day about 66 children are treated in an emergency room for a shopping cart-related injury.
“That’s not surprising – sadly,” Bush said.
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital recently studied shopping cart safety following safety standards implemented in 2004, but the study found injuries are still on the rise even with the regulations. The study, which looked at reported injuries from 1990 to 2011, was for children younger than 15 years.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the current standards for shopping carts do not address the stability of the carts and the testing of restraints should be revised into a more “clear and effective performance criteria.”
Another problem noted by AAP is parents should never place a car seat in or on a shopping cart.
“Car seats are only designed to be used in a vehicle,” said Joanne Amick, a registered nurse and pediatrician clinical manager for Community Hospital Anderson. “It is safer to carry your child than to risk them standing up and tipping the cart.”
Amick said the injuries sustained from a fall out of an unattended shopping cart can be life threatening.
In fact, the most common injury received from a shopping cart fall is a head injury, according to the study. More than 78 percent of the reported injuries in the study involved head trauma.