Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shopping Cart Injuries

Perhaps you were one of those children who thought of the shopping cart as a mountain for the courageous climber to conquer, or a racecar with you at the wheel. Or you've been challenged by one of those children in the grocery store who were not just riding in, but standing in, climbing on, or pushing that shopping cart like it was their own private jungle gym, skateboard, or glider.

According to a recent report in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, an estimated 24,200 children younger than 15 years old, 85% of which were younger than 5 years old, were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms last year for shopping cart-related injuries! Approximately 4% of those injuries required admission to the hospital, and 75% of the injuries involved head and neck injury. Fractures are the most common injury resulting in admission (Smith, 2006).

How can you keep your child safe in a shopping cart? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends, "If a parent chooses to transport his or her child in a shopping cart, then an effective, age- and size-appropriate restraining device should be worn by the child at all times. Children should not be left unattended in a shopping cart, be allowed to stand up in a cart, be transported in the basket, or ride on the outsideof a cart." It may not be easy, but insisting on a restraint may save you a trip to the emergency room and untold trauma.

Source:  Donna Davis, Family Album Radio, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida

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