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Shopping Cart Injuries Are More Common Than You May Think

Busy parents across the United States run errands with their children every day. To keep small children from wandering or from disturbing merchandise, parents usually do not think twice about placing their child inside the shopping cart. Parents tend to trust that the shopping cart will be a safe place to keep their child while they finish their shopping, however, most do not realize that shopping carts pose the threat of injury to children, especially small ones.

A recent study published in the Clinical Pediatrics Journal[1] states that, on average, more than 24,000 children under the age of 15 years sought treatment in American emergency rooms for injuries sustained from shopping carts. Furthermore, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC),[2] nearly 20,000 of those injuries occur to children younger than five.

Causes of shopping cart injuries

Though shopping cart injuries can occur for a wide variety of reasons, the most common are as follows:

  • Broken or inadequate restraints, allowing a child to slip out or unbuckle the safety belt
  • Side or rear tip-overs due to improper construction of the cart with a center of gravity that is too high
  • Child falling through a leg hole or from the seat
  • Pinching or cutting due to sharp or rusty edges or small spaces

Many of these injuries can happen because the shopping carts were poorly designed, negligently constructed, or improperly inspected or maintained.

Head injuries from shopping cart accidents

The majority (approximately 60 percent) of shopping cart accident victims sustain some type of head injury. Head injuries can include:

  • Concussions or other types of traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Bruising or swelling of the brain
  • Skull fractures
  • Penetration of the skull
  • Bleeding or tissue damage on the scalp
  • Contusions or lacerations

These injuries can be extremely serious, especially when they happen to a small child whose skull is not fully formed. Children who suffer brain or other head injuries often require extensive treatment, including long periods of rest from school, daycare, or activities, physical and cognitive therapy, close monitoring, and more.

In addition to head trauma, kids can sustain damage to the spinal cord when they fall to the ground from a shopping cart. Spinal cord injuries can cause loss of sensation and/or loss of movement in body below the injury point, which can be temporary or permanent. Spinal cord damage can require extended hospitalization as well as surgeries and long-term therapy. The most serious spinal cord injuries may result in permanent paralysis, which can keep a child from walking or even living independently for the rest of their lives.

Who is responsible?

If the accident occurred because of a defect of the cart itself, the manufacturer may be held responsible of all of the accident-related losses. Additionally, a manufacturer may be liable if there was inadequate warning of the risks of shopping carts. If the accident and injury happened because a cart was not properly inspected or maintained, the store that owned the cart can be found negligent. It is important to have an attorney investigate your case to determine the correct negligent party.

Contact a skilled personal injury lawyer in Clearwater, Florida for a free consultation today

If your child is injured, your first priority should be their physical recovery. However, you should also think about the financial implications of their injury. Pediatric medical bills can be extensive, especially when an injury is long-lasting and requires extensive treatment and/or therapy. Additionally, small children who suffer a permanent disability or disfigurement will be affected for the rest of their lives, which is hopefully many, many years. For these reasons, small children who suffer preventable injuries should fully recover for the full amount of the past and future losses to them and their parents. At Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA in Clearwater, Florida, our highly qualified lawyers are dedicated to helping parents stand up for the rights of injured children and to holding negligent companies accountable for their actions. All consultations are free, so please do not hesitate to call 727-451-6900 to discuss your case today.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756



[1] https://cpj.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/12/16/0009922813513322
[2] https://www.cpsc.gov//Global/Research-and-Statistics/Injury-Statistics/Public%20Facilities%20and%20Products/ShoppingCartInjuriestoChildren2008to2012.pdf