WellSpan Home

Child Safety: Strollers and Shopping Carts

Topic Overview

Taking your child out of the house allows him or her to have new experiences and interactions. You may start using a stroller as soon as your baby is born and continue to do so well into early childhood. You may also want your child to ride in a shopping cart when you go to stores. Only use well-maintained strollers and carts. And take some general precautions to avoid injuring your child:footnote 1

Strollers

  • Never leave your child unattended in a stroller.
  • Securely fasten any toys or bumpers you use with your stroller so they don't fall on your child. Remove these items as soon as your child can sit or get up on all fours.
  • Make sure releases and hinges are out of reach of your child, especially if the stroller is collapsible. Always lock the release mechanism before putting your child in the stroller. Keep your child at a safe distance when you are collapsing the stroller.
  • Strap your child in securely so he or she cannot lean out.
  • Use a stroller with easy-to-operate brakes. The stroller should also have a wide base so it won't easily tip over.
  • Prevent the stroller from tipping over. Don't hang items, such as shopping bags, from the stroller handles. Carrying baskets should be placed low, near the rear wheels.
  • Twin strollers should have a single, long footrest that extends across both seats. Separate footrests can trap feet.

Shopping carts

Most injuries from shopping carts involve children younger than 5 years. Fractures, internal injuries, and concussions are the most common injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the design of shopping carts be changed to help prevent cart tip-overs and falls from carts. Until shopping carts are safer, the AAP strongly recommends not to use them. Other options include using supervised in-store child play areas, taking another adult with you to watch your child while you shop, or using a stroller or wagon instead of a shopping cart.

If you choose to have your child ride in a shopping cart, children should not:footnote 2

  • Be left unattended.
  • Be allowed to stand up in the cart.
  • Ride in the large basket of the shopping cart.
  • Ride on the outside of the cart.

Carriers designed to sit on top of the cart or built into it do not prevent a child from falling out. Avoid accidents by properly restraining your child at all times in a cart, and do not leave your child unattended, even for a moment.

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Keeping your child safe. In SP Shevlov et al., eds., Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., pp. 457-506. New York: Bantam.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (2006, reaffirmed 2009). Shopping cart-related injuries to children. Pediatrics, 118(2): 825-827. Also available online: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/118/2/825.full.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics

Current as ofMarch 28, 2018


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×