Car Seat vs. Shopping Cart

     We were at Costco and while checking out I saw something that I see all too often. I saw a baby car seat (with baby) perched upon the top basket of the cart. Not just any shopping cart: a mammoth, tall, mass consumerism enabler of a Costco cart. As tall as these things are, the baby was literally eye level with mom. Not only was baby dangerously resting on the top, mom and dad were separated from him while they checked out. Ever been to a Costco? Well, you roll the cart on one side of the checkout while the cashier empties it, and you’re on the other side of the lane. You’d think one parent would have stayed with baby on the other side. You’d think wrong. Both just let the employee pull the cart from the front with car seat wobbling on the top while neither were anywhere near him.
     What could possibly make these people think that was safe?! I see this all the time! I’ve never put TheBoy up there. When he was in a car seat, we’d place him in the actual basket of the cart. I pushed and Mama Peaceful had another cart for our actual purchases. This made safe sense to us, why would not it for others? I just don’t get how someone can think placing your infant, unattached; on the top half of a cart would be safe? Someone could bump the cart and knock over the carrier; it could slip and fall; and I have seen some where the baby is tilted back so far to make the carrier fit that his legs were higher than his head. Hmmm, that seems healthy. How can people not tell that they are NOT designed to fit in carts? They are car seats, not shopping cart seats. See the difference? In most car seat manuals it instructs specifically not to do this, as do the feet flaps in fold out section of shopping carts. Not only that it could void any warranty there is AND could damage the snapping mechanism in the car seat rendering it dangerous if in an accident.
     I’ve thought about approaching individuals practicing this and offer advice. But then again, I’m not outspoken in person and don’t like to create a scene. Besides, have you ever given constructive criticism to a stranger regarding their child? The inevitable I’m right/you’re wrong or “It’s my child” mentality ensues and you get nowhere.
shopping-cart-warning-diagram
Image Courtesy of Google

While I’ve never witnessed an actual fall or injury from said placement, I have heard horror stories about accidents. Is it really worth the risk to have them up there? There are other, safer, alternatives to this widely unsafe practice. For example, place the carrier in the basket of the cart like we used to. If there are not two of you, turn the car seat sideways and that creates more room in the cart so you don’t need two carts. Then there is my favorite, wear your baby! That’s the Peaceful-Papa way; especially during those first few critical months of bonding. I can’t think of an instance when wearing TheBoy hasn’t come in handy. It frees up both hands for shopping, there’s no large, cumbersome carrier to contend with and you get great cuddles while shopping! But more importantly, just practice common sense. I realize we’re a society that mimics behavior, begin a new, safer trend by NOT putting your child-filled car seat on the top where it doesn’t belong.

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