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Shopping carts are great for groceries but not so hot for children. reports on the injuries sustained by kids in carts and on the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics to avoid using the shopping cart as a kid-transporter. I’m not a researcher, but each year parents sit in my office and tell me how their children were injured because of cart use.

Shopping Carts Not Safe Enough for Kids

Many parents go to the store with their kids and don’t think twice about putting their little ones in the cart while they shop. But the nation’s top doctors say this is a dangerous behavior that parents should try to avoid.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued a new recommendation that parents consider alternatives to placing their kids in shopping carts, until carts are redesigned to prevent injury.

Shopping cart-related injuries are common: In 2005, more than 24,000 kids were treated in emergency rooms for these types of injuries, according to the AAP. Most of the injuries occurred when a child fell from the shopping cart, the cart tipped over, the child became entrapped in the cart, or the child fell while riding on the outside of the cart.

The most common shopping cart-related injuries were to the head and neck, which accounted for 74 percent of injuries among children younger than 15.

So what’s a parent to do? Instead of putting your little one in a shopping cart, the AAP says you should:

-Get another adult to come with you to watch your kids while shopping.

-Put children in strollers, wagons, or frontpacks instead of in shopping carts.

-Ask older children to walk and praise them for behaving and staying nearby.

-Leave children at home with another adult.

-Shop online if local stores offer shopping on the Internet.

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