Your biggest concern while grocery shopping with your baby is likely just getting through the store in a reasonable amount of time and with minimal crying. But it’s essential to think about shopping cart safety, too, since placing your baby’s carrier in your cart’s front section can be a serious hazard.
Why shopping carts aren’t always safe for babies
Shockingly, nearly 1,000 infants in carriers fall out of shopping carts each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That’s because “many new parents simply aren’t aware that the front section of the shopping cart can be dangerous, and wrongly assume that their infant’s carrier was designed to sit [in that space],” says Paul Giampavolo, a leading expert on shopping cart safety and chairman of The American Society for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) Shopping Cart Subcommittee. But in fact, most infant carrier instruction manuals say to never place the carrier in a shopping cart. “Infant carriers are unstable when placed on top of the cart. When bumped or jostled, it can tip or fall out of the cart entirely, which can result in serious head trauma for infants,” Giampavolo says.
How to ensure baby shopping cart safety
Still, if you can’t keep your baby’s carrier in the front of your cart, navigating a store becomes a whole lot trickier. Enter Safe-Dock, the first universal infant carrier docking station for shopping carts designed to securely contain any infant carrier sold in the United States. Designed by retail safety manufacturer SafeStrap, Safe-Docks are permanently mounted onto the front section of shopping carts, with curved seats and heavy-duty harnesses to keep infant carriers secure.
Introduced about six months ago, Safe-Docks are currently available at major retailers like Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Shop-Rite, usually located right in the front of the store, and sectioned off from the regular carts. You can find retailers with Safe-Dock shopping carts near you at shoppingcartsafety.com—and know that they’ll continue to be available in a growing number of stores in the near future. “Our goal is to get Safe-Dock in just about every store with shopping carts. If you see a store closeby that doesn’t have them, let us know,” Giampavolo says.
See more: Car Seat Safety for New Parents