Shopping cart injuries are on the rise, despite the implementation of safety standards.
A new study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics reveals that shopping cart injuries send about 24,000 children under the age of 15 to hospital emergency rooms every year. Particularly worrisome: the number of shopping cart-related head injuries has continued to increase, The Huffington Post reports.
So in light of the report, what should you do if your child gets injured by a shopping cart?
Shopping Cart Injury Study
The Clinical Pediatrics study suggests that the existing safety standards for shopping carts may not be enough to protect kids from getting injured. According to the study, about 66 children a day are sent to emergency rooms for shopping cart injuries.
Currently, shopping cart safety standards are voluntarily implemented by manufacturers. Although safety changes were made in 2004, the number of injuries hasn't decreased. According to the study, the most common injuries occur when:
- Children fall out of the shopping cart (70 percent of all injuries),
- Children run into or fall over the cart (8 percent),
- The cart is tipped over (6 percent), and
- Children get trapped in the cart (also 6 percent).
While parents should always watch out for their kids, the study's researchers are proposing solutions for maufacturers and stores to help prevent these types of injuries. For example, researchers suggest design changes, like placing the child seat closer to the ground to avoid high falls, and for stores to encourage families to use shopping cart safety belts.
What If Your Child Is Injured?
If your child suffers a shopping cart-related injury, there are certain steps you can take.
First, you'll probably want to inform the store about the injury. Under premises liability laws, shopkeepers are responsible for making sure their store is relatively safe for customers. Store owners have a duty to ensure that their shopping carts are safe, so reporting shopping cart injuries will alert them to the problem and help prevent other children from harm.
Along with the store's owner, you may also have a products liability case against the shopping cart manufacturer if the cart was in any way defective. Defects can include flaws in the cart's design, manufacture, or even faulure to provide adequate warnings about the cart's risks.
If you choose to pursue legal action, be sure to keep all records of medical treatment for potential reimbursement. You'll also want to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area to discuss a potential lawsuit.
Although researchers say better designed shopping carts could help to lower the number of injuries in the future, keeping a close eye on your kids is still the best way to prevent shopping cart injuries.
- Shopping cart danger: 66 kids hurt a day, study finds (NBC News)
- Falling TVs Injure 1 Child Every 30 Mins: Study (FindLaw's Injured)
- Carrying Infants Can Give Rise to Stair Injuries (FindLaw's Injured)
- Shopping Injuries Overview (FindLaw)