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In Spite of Shopping Cart Safety Standards, Children Suffer Head Injuries at Alarming Rates

In an effort to reduce injuries to children, voluntary shopping cart safety standards were implemented in the U.S. beginning a decade ago in 2004. However, one extensive study indicates that children are continuing to sustain serious head and other injuries. In fact, the rate of head injuries in children under age 15 continues to increase.

The study covered reports from U.S. emergency departments from 1990 through 2011 — a period showing shopping cart accidents experienced by over 530,000 children before and after the voluntary changes in safety standards. According to Science Daily, a study by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital indicated that children sustain shopping cart-related injuries in a number of ways, including running into carts or getting body parts stuck in carts. However, 70.4 percent of all injuries are sustained from shopping cart falls, and 78.1 percent of all injuries involved the head. While diagnoses of soft tissue injury were most common, children up to age four were the most common victims affected by a more than 200 percent increase in concussions and closed head injuries.

Proactive steps you can take to protect your children

Clearly, voluntary shopping cart safety standards are not effectively preventing serious injuries to children. Parents need to take proactive measures to protect small children, such as the following:

  • Whenever possible, avoid placing children in a cart. Small children are best protected by staying at home, playing in child care facilities available in some stores or riding in back pack carriers or strollers.
  • Place children in carts properly. Legs need to go through leg openings, all available cart safety restraints should be used properly and children need to understand that they must remain seated.
  • Never leave a child in an unattended cart, even for a short time period.

Even your best efforts cannot always prevent shopping cart or other injuries to your children. If your child sustains injuries in a store, first seek immediate medical support. Then schedule a consultation with an experienced Long Island premises liability attorney to learn all legal options available for pursuing compensation.

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