I-Team: Mom warns of shopping cart danger after baby fall

Thousands of children every year are rushed to the emergency room with shopping-cart -related injuries.
April 24, 2014 2:31:02 PM PDT
Most of us grab a shopping cart when we go to the grocery store and think nothing of it. But a local mom says that was a dangerous decision when she strapped in her 10-month-old baby in the seat.

The child flipped the cart over at a Trader Joe's parking lot. Kim Johnson says her baby girl is recovering from a concussion plus some scrapes and bruises.

She's not alone. Thousands of children every year are rushed to the emergency room with shopping-cart -related injuries.  Experts say it happens every 22 minutes.

Johnson's daughter, Nora, is going to be okay, but she took to social media to warn other parents.

"She flipped the whole cart over while still buckled just because I'd taken the groceries out. It was empty, and that makes it light enough that she can flip it. That's not good," said Kim Johnson.

After a CT scan, Nora is okay. However, her mom is still shaken after only briefly turning away to load groceries.

"It happened so fast and the fact that she was able to flip it with her own body weight because it was empty," said Johnson. "I'm really concerned those carts aren't as sturdy as they need to be."

It's the size of the store's carts that worries Johnson the most. So she took to social media, warning other parents.

It turns out that Nora's shopping cart injuries are far too common -- sending 66 children to the ER every single day.

The Trader Joe's staff drove the distraught mom and her baby to the hospital.

"I said, 'Hey, I think your cart is a problem,' and they just said, 'Oh, okay.' They're supposed to follow up with me and I hope that they do.

A spokesperson for Trader's Joes would only tell ABC11: "We are very glad to hear that everyone involved is safe and we are investigating the cause of the accident."

The shopping cart issue may be bigger than a single grocery store chain. Safety experts say when kids are strapped inside a shopping cart it raises the center of gravity of the cart. As little as ten pounds can tip it over.

At least 21 other countries use a standard  stability test for their carts.

Safety experts say the global organization ASTM International, which sets product safety standards, recently ruled against it in the U.S., which left moms like Johnson shopping with baby at their own risk.

"Or put a sign on it --the individual cart-- that says, 'Hey, moms! Pay more vigilance," said Johnson.

There's still a push to get that standard stability test here in the U.S. That's why safety experts are urging parents to report their shopping cart incidents and to call their local congressmen.


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