PSA: Never Put A Car Seat On A Shopping Cart

by Ashley Austrew

A mom’s Facebook post explains why parents should never put their baby’s car seat on a shopping cart.

It’s a rookie mistake that many parents make: balancing a baby’s car seat on top of a shopping cart. I did it with my first, and I know many other parents who’ve done it too, but a recent viral Facebook post shows just how dangerous it really is.

Ohio mom Lindsey Wisnewski posted a photo a few days ago of her baby’s car seat toppled over on the hood of her van after the wind blew her shopping cart over while the seat was balanced on top. In the caption, Wisnewski clarifies that her baby was not in the seat at the time, but says she wanted to share the photo anyway as a warning to other parents about the dangers of putting car seats on shopping carts.

She writes:

“Please, please, please parents do not put the carseat on the top part of the cart! Any car seat technician will tell you that it’s extremely unsafe. I post this PSA without judgement, as I myself did this with both boys. Up until about 2 years ago, I thought the seat was safe since it clicks into place. But the car seat in the picture was “locked” into place. (And sure, had my baby actually been in the seat, I wouldn’t have left it unattended. But accidents happen in the blink of an eye).”

Since Wisnewski’s post went up, it’s been shared by hundreds of people and she says she’s received messages of thanks from all over the country. Balancing car seats on top of things is still an incredibly common practice, and many people simply don’t know the risks.

According to a 2010 study in the American Journal of Pediatrics, more than 10,000 babies are injured each year in their car seats in non-car related accidents. A whopping 80 percent of those injuries are related to falls — 65 percent of the infants fell out of their seat entirely, while another 15 percent fell from an elevated surface like a shopping cart or table top while strapped into their seats. The vast majority of injuries are head injuries, and one in ten of those injuries required hospitalization for at least one night. Although it’s rare, the Consumer Product Safety Commission even reports a handful of kids have died from falling out of shopping carts.

One of they very first things we learn as parents is that accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Even when we’re standing right there and keeping a close eye on our babies, they can still get hurt. Putting a car seat on a shopping cart is one of those instances where the convenience just isn’t worth the potential risk. If you have to take a baby shopping and they’re too young to sit up in a cart by themselves, pediatric health group Nationwide Children’s recommends using a baby carrier or even bringing a stroller inside the store with you.

As defensive as we may get about our parenting choices, we’re all united in the desire to keep our kids safe. Finding an alternative to resting the car seat on a shopping cart is a small change that could prevent a potentially huge and serious accident. Even if you think you’ve got everything under control, a little extra caution is never a bad thing.

H/T Huffington Post