Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shopping Cart Research

I have recounted my story of Lucy in the runaway shopping cart to many people in the last two weeks. I even went to the scene of the accident and spoke to a manager of the grocery store. He listened very politely, but basically said, "Tough." I wanted to look on the internet and see if there were ANY grocery carts that have brakes installed on them. The only ones I found have to do with preventing theft of carts, not as a safety feature.

Upon further research, I found several articles which site the American Association of Pediatrics recommending that children never be placed in grocery carts. Which is impossible! But their reasoning is that, many grocery stores don't maintain the straps and so many carts are suspect in their safety mechanism. I can totally attest to that! I mean, I can't tell you how many times I have been to a store and the strap is broken, torn off or the buckle doesn't work. They also say that the center of gravity on the cart makes them able to tip over without much work. Since a child is actually buckled in on the tipping point, that makes them extraordinarily dangerous. I have to admit, I have never thought of these issues before.

But a majority of the articles admonish parents to never let their kids stand up in the carts and recommends not shopping with them. Well, whoop-dee-do. Who wouldn't rather shop without their kids? You think that I love taking my child to a location where it is open season on what a bad mother I am because I can't control my kids? Or, I get stopped every aisle by a grandma who wants to play peekaboo? I would LOVE to just run in and run out. But that is not the luxury that I have these days.

What does a grocery store offer for me? Nothing except for a freak accident to occur. But it isn't so freakish. Over 24,000 kids are injured in shopping carts a year. 24,000.

So they suggest using a stroller, a backpack, bring a extra set of hands, or use the carts with a car in front. Wanna know how many "car carts" we have at our grocery store? Zero. More than that, they only have those double seat carts where Asher is afforded 3 1/2" of plastic to sit on and to be strapped into the cart by two suspender-type belts which he slips out of faster than I can buckle him in.

I think the only thing that I can do from now on, is force someone to unload my groceries while I deal with my kids. I just hate making the guy do that cause it is 12 degrees outside and I am not allowed to tip him.

I can't believe that this is not a bigger issue and that no one wants to make grocery carts more safe.


Michelle said...

You said it, sister. The situation with grocery carts is completely avoidable and ridiculous.
We've now each had an accident with carts and probably aren't even counted in the statistics. Remember when Peter fell out of the cart at Target b/c his strap snapped when he leaned to grap something?
They absolutely should start designing carts with breaks (like a strller has) since nearly every freakin' store I go to has a slope in the lot and 2) they should be required to maintain & inspect their safety belts.
You're really on to something with this issue!

robin said...

hmmm, you should patent the idea of brakes on carts! (if it hasn't been already thought of)