There have been quite a few cases in the news lately of children falling from grocery carts and being seriously injured and in a few actually dying as a result of the injuries they sustained. Now we aren't talking about toddlers here, we are talking about infants. Parents are using the seat part of the cart and placing their car seats in that space as a holder of sorts. Unfortunately I see this all the time and before I knew better I admit that I even did it a few times myself. That is why I love the saying, know better... do better. The key is LEARNING from your mistakes and making the proper changes.
The common belief is that the shopping cart seats are designed for infant car seats to "click" into them. Unfortunately they may "click" but they do not lock in place because they are NOT designed to go in anything other than the car seat base or strollers designed specifically for that particular car seat. Due to the increase in these accidents stores are changing the labels on the shopping carts to include the warning regarding car seats. You can also take a look in your car seat manual and you will see that it states that the car seat should NOT be placed in shopping carts.
So, what are you to do when you have an infant and need to go shopping. There are three options that I can think of. The first is the most impractical in my opinion but I know some moms have mastered it. Place the car seat IN the large part of the shopping cart and pull that cart while pushing a second for your items to purchase. The second suggestion is placing the car seat IN the large part of the shopping cart and use the seat for fragile items (if grocery shopping) and place everything else around the car seat and under the cart. The third option is my favorite and I still use it with my son, who is now sixteen months old, babywearing. There are multiple carriers on the market and not everyone prefers the same style. I personally use an Ergo, it is a US made carrier that can be used in a front carry (great if you breastfeed) or back carry. This can be used from birth, with an insert all the way to roughly 45 pounds.
Please be safe while shopping with your babies and take heed to the warning I am giving you. In some of the incidents it was just a slight bump that the shopping cart received and down came the car seat, with baby hitting the floor. If you see someone using the carseat improperly be gentle with your warning, be imformative and loving rather than condesending. It is very hard for ANY mom or dad to hear that they are doing something dangerous and it is normal to become defensive.
If you are interested in learning about different carriers for baby/toddler wearing there is a local shop where you can try out different styles before purchasing. Greenberries is located in Columbia, Maryland and the next class on babywearing is Sunday, October 28th at 3:30pm. For more information regarding the class and to sign-up visit their website or facebook page.
Be sure to tell them that Katie from Bowie Patch sent you!!
Safe shopping moms and dads! I'd love to see pictures if you change your shopping habits and start using one of the new methods I've suggested!