The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has warned parents against placing children in shopping carts and is advising they look for alternatives.
A study has found that more than 20,000 children were injured in shopping cart-related injuries last year and needed emergency hospital treatment.
It seems that four percent of the 20,700 U.S. children, who received treatment for a shopping cart-related injury in a hospital emergency department in 2005, required hospital admission.
Fractures were the most common diagnosis of those hospitalized - 45% ,while head and neck injuries accounted for 79% of the injuries requiring emergency treatment.
Deaths have also been reported from falls from shopping carts and cart tipovers.
According to a study conducted by Gary Smith, MD, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) at the Columbus Children's Research Institute at Columbus Children's Hospital, it was found that an in-store safety intervention program successfully increased the use of child safety-restraints in shopping carts.
This study looked at the effectiveness of the intervention with children five years of age and younger and involved greeting customers at the store entrance and encouraging the use of appropriate shopping cart restraints, plus a cash incentive coupon.
Of the seven stores involved, 3 acted as intervention sites, and 4 were non-intervention sites.
Trained study personnel discreetly observed and recorded the use of shopping cart restraint use as caregivers approached the store checkout areas.