Thousands of children sent to ER for shopping cart injuries

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – As part of National Safety Month, Smiths Food and Drug is stepping up their safety measures when it comes to shopping carts their customers put their kids in.  

According to a recent study, each day 66 kids are sent to the emergency room for shopping cart related injuries. “That's a scary number for sure,” said Carlee Johnson who was out shopping with her 11 month old at Smiths in Salt Lake.

Johnson says she is shocked to learn so many children are injured from shopping carts and says it’s too bad her 11 month old is too old to use the new "Safe-Dock's" Smith’s Food and Drug is offering its customers. However, she's happy to see the grocery store is helping parents keep kids secure. “When my baby was really little I would just put him in a stroller because I didn't think the cart was a safe option,” said Johnson.

Smith’s recognized that concern and started making changes. “We invested a quarter of a million dollars to buy these and put them in all of our stores throughout our area, because we think it's going to be a great security and convenience for our families,” said Marsha Gilford, Smith’s Food and Drug spokesperson.

According to the recent study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, 530,494 children were treated to shopping cart related injuries in the emergency room between 1990 and 2011. Those numbers translate to 24,000 per year and 66 per day.     

Now, with the new "Safe-Dock" Smiths Food and Drug hopes to reduce those numbers, but they need parents to make sure they are using them correctly. “It’s strictly for car seat usage. If the child is able to sit up they should be in a normal cart with the seat,” said Gilford.  

So, although the safe dock isn't for Johnson’s baby boy she thinks it's a great solution for other parents trying to get their shopping in.  “I think it's great they have different options for parents so they can bring their kids to the grocery store,” said Johnson.

All Smith Food and Drug locations in Utah should have directions in both English and Spanish posted near the shopping carts on how to safely use the Safe-dock. If a location does not have Safe-Docks available ask for the store director, who can assist you. 


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