Car Seat 101: How to Keep Baby Safe in a Shopping Cart
Navigating everyday life experiences becomes a mind-numbing challenge when you add a baby into the mix. How do you run errands, keep up with doctor’s appointments and head to the supermarket for basic supplies?
Keeping Baby happy and on schedule while running around town is hard enough, but when you consider that an estimated 24,000 children are injured in shopping cart-related accidents every year, what was once a normal routine becomes a stress-inducing nightmare.
But it doesn’t have to be. With a baby hammock, your child is strapped in and cradled in two layers of upholstery weight fabric. The alternative of perching the baby car seat on top of the shopping cart is too dangerous to even consider. Even if it seems to “click in,” the seat can easily topple off or tip over the cart. Either way, your cutie is in trouble. Placing the seat in the basket itself is safer, but leaves no room for groceries. A shopping cart hammock is the safe alternative to allow you to shop with your baby and maintain space for your groceries. If you don’t want to take your little one out of the car seat, the hammock is made to hold a car seat as well, and it has a strap to keep it safely in place. Because the shopping cart hammock can hold up to fifty pounds, you’re good to go!
Another way to ensure your baby’s safety is to stay with them at all times. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s too easy to step a little too far away to grab that item and leave Baby at risk. Be within grabbing distance of the cart at all times in case the neighbor kids get it in their heads to play shopping cart bumper cars.
Also, shopping carts are often less sturdy than they appear. A large number of the yearly injuries come from children tipping over the cart by standing up in it or by riding on the side. Don’t let older siblings get carried away. Explain the dangers and try to distract them from games involving the grocery cart. Consider a cart cover for siblings old enough to sit up, but not too big for the cart seat. This also keeps them from the germs on the cart.
Speaking of Germs ...
If the groceries stack up in a tower near Baby, make sure none of the raw meat is in reaching distance. No one wants to come home from a pleasant outing at the store with a case of salmonella.
Keep a pack of wipes on hand to wipe down Baby if other shoppers get too grabby. With those tiny fingers waving around in the air, someone might not resist the temptation to let Baby grab hold of a finger. If you’re being especially careful of germs with your baby right now, make sure to wipe her down before that chubby little fist goes in Baby’s mouth,
Also, keep the visit short. Baby will be less likely to get grumpy and the siblings less likely to turn rambunctious if you plan ahead and keep your time in the store down to a minimum. Order bigger, bulk items and dry goods online. Keep the supermarket for fresh food. The longer the older sibling has to behave, the less likely he or she will be able to keep up their angelic behavior. When the kids are frazzled, that’s when dangerous deeds seem like a good idea.
We hope you can plan for your outings so you can avoid difficulties and danger, but still have the chance to enjoy taking your baby out for a change of scenery. Your priority is to keep your little one safe, so do what you have to do to make that a reality — but also try to take some moments to take joy in the small things. Smile at the cashier. Sing along with the Muzak for Baby’s amusement. Smell the flowers — and the peaches — because this time will go far too quickly.