Shopping Cart Injuries in Children

Every 22 minutes, a child winds up in the emergency room due to an injury related to shopping carts

an estimated 530,494 children

under the age of 15 were treated in emergency department in the U.S. for shopping cart related injuries between 1990 and 2011[1]

Shopping cart related accidents involving children are extremely common and can result in severe injury or even death. Because of the high number of injuries, voluntary shopping cart safety standards were introduced in the United States in 2004. Unfortunately, research shows that such standards have done little good when it comes to protecting children; in fact, the injury rate has continued to climb.

While falls from the cart accounted for the majority of injuries (70.4%), running into or falling over the cart, cart tip-overs, and entrapment of extremities in the cart itself were also on the list of injuries sustained. In addition to concussions and fractures, deaths have been reported from falls or when shopping carts tip over.

0 falling out
0 ran into/fell over cart

most common cause of injuries

0 tip over
0 entrapment
Age of Head Injury Patients 79% 92%

important stats

head injuries were most common and have increased 213%

One report found that 79% of head injuries were among children younger than 5 years, and 92% among children younger than 1 year.

falling from cart accounts for 70.4% of injuries
“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.”

Injuries that occur when carts tip over can result in severe injury to young children, says Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. According to Smith, the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety are inadequate.

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

stats on children 0-4 

0% of all shopping cart related injuries
0% of all head injuries
0x fall 25 times more than older children
  • Head Region click to view stats +
  • Upper Extremity click to view stats +
  • Trunk click to view stats +
  • Lower Extremity click to view stats +
  • 409,644 Head Region
  • 72,286 Upper Extremity
  • 9,390 Trunk
  • 31,411 Lower Extremity

important safety tips

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  • seatbelt

    Whenever possible, find alternatives to placing your child in shopping carts.

  • seatbelt

    Always use shopping cart safety straps, being sure your child is snugly secured in the straps and that the child’s legs are placed through the leg openings.

  • seatbelt

    If parts of the cart restraint system are missing or are not working, choose a different cart.

  • seatbelt

    Make sure your child remains seated; never allow your child to stand on the seat or in the basket of a cart.

  • seatbelt

    Stay with the cart and your child at all times.

  • seatbelt

    If you use a cart that has a child safety seat in it, use one that is low to the ground.

  • seatbelt

    Avoid placing infant carriers on top of shopping carts.

  • seatbelt

    Never permit a child to push other children in the cart.

  • seatbelt

    Avoid allowing your child to stand on the front, side, or back of the cart. Arms and legs can become pinched or caught.