I see it every day, a car seat sitting on top of a shopping cart. Most people think that because they hear the car seat “click” it is secure. The reality is, it is absolutely not. I just wrote about this on my personal blog, Attached 2 Parenting, and it is a very passionate subject for me. As I noted in that post, a dear friend, who is an excellent mother, clicked her car seat in, and the baby fell on the ground. Thank goodness she was strapped in secrurely AND that the bar was up preventing her child from hitting the ground. But for many this is not the case.
Every year there are more than 20,000 car seat/shopping cart injuries and some of those result in death. That is right people, death. All it takes is to hit a bump, or have someone bump your cart and the baby and seat crash tot he floor.
While most car seats specifically address shopping carts and warn against placing them on top of carts, people often over look this because it is among several other warnings that easily get brushed aside. Even if there are specific instructions for using the car seat on the shopping cart (this is the exception more than the rule) shopping car seat themselves usually warn against it. The were not designed to carry that weight in the front, and provide no way of securing the car seat to the cart.
A company called Safe-Strap Co. recently announced the Safe-Dock which will allow for safe car seat docking on a shopping cart. But it has yet to hit many stores.
So what is one to do when they must shop with their child (and who doesn’t usually?!) Use a sling or carrier, a stroller if shopping with a partner or friend, or put the car seat INSIDE the cart and use the bottom and cart seat for the groceries. Play it safe people, this is an easy injury to avoid!