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Friday, July 20, 2012

Car seat safety: Infant carriers and shopping carts

This...

...is NOT safe!

I know... I know. It clicks when you put it on there. I was deceived by this too when Grace was a baby. I thought the click meant that it wouldn't fall. Nothing ever happened with Grace, and I learned better before I had Brentley. 

Yes, it does click, but that does not mean that it is secure. Car seats are not made for shopping carts. In fact, most user manuals say NOT to do this. 
Not only is the seat not actually secure on there, but doing this can damage the mechanism, therefore making it not properly connect in the base, which could prove fatal in a crash. 

I see people doing this all the time, everywhere I go. I have even seen people defending themselves even when faced with the facts.
The facts are that:
  • Shopping carts are not made for car seats, so placing your baby up there in his/her car seat up there can make the cart top heavy, which can cause the cart to tip.
  • The metal of the shopping cart is too thin, so while you hear the click, the seat is not secure.
  • Any bump or sudden stop... someone bumping your cart with their's, a rowdy child running into it, hitting something in the floor, etc. could send your child tumbling to the floor.
  • If your baby is old enough to wiggle, baby might send herself tumbling to the floor. 
It only takes a second. You reach up to the top shelf to grab that can of peas you need, and your pride and joy has fallen to the floor. 

It does happen, and it is much more common than you think.
Here is a link to one tragic story...

Many more stories like this one can be found through a quick Google search. I have read three stories like this in the past couple of weeks. The other two babies survived, but one suffered a skull fracture. That is not something any parents want their child to go through!

Simple solutions:
  1. Place the entire car seat in the basket where the groceries go. Yes, this limits space, but is that space worth risking injury or death to your child? Try getting hubby to go with you to the grocery store so you can each push a cart, or take a trip to the grocery store each week instead of every two weeks or once a month, that way you won't have to get as much.
  2. If you have a travel system, put the car seat in the stroller. It is designed for that. I would go to the store by myself, push Brentley's stroller with him in his car seat, and pull the cart behind me. It requires some effort, but it was worth it.
  3. Baby wear! I have done this too. Brentley loved to be worn. He just became to heavy for my back being the little chunker he is. Regardless of that, if your baby likes to be worn, wear that baby proudly! You free up your cart and your baby will be safe :)
References:


3 comments:

  1. Just shared on my Facebook! I see this all the time:(

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  2. Oh my. I have never heard of that. I used to do it all the time with Sam. That or I would lift the seat up and just put her carrier in the back if I wasn't going grocery shopping. Hm. Well that sucks. lol.

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  3. Putting the carrier in the basket itself (where the food goes) is not dangerous. They are made to hold weight there, so it won't tip over. It's just the top child seat part that the car seat shouldn't go in.
    I did it with Grace too. I'm just glad nothing ever happened.

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