Taking your child out of the house allows him or her to have new
experiences and interactions. You may start using a stroller as soon as your
baby is born and continue to do so well into early childhood. You may also want
your child to ride in a shopping cart when you go to stores. Only use
well-maintained strollers and carts. And take some general precautions to avoid
injuring your child:1
Never leave your child unattended in a
Securely fasten any toys or bumpers you use with your
stroller so they don't fall on your child. Remove these items as soon as your
child can sit or get up on all fours.
Make sure releases and hinges
are out of reach of your child, especially if the stroller is collapsible.
Always lock the release mechanism before putting your child in the stroller.
Keep your child at a safe distance when you are collapsing the
Strap your child in securely so he or she cannot lean
Use a stroller with easy-to-operate brakes. The stroller
should also have a wide base so it won't easily tip over.
the stroller from tipping over. Don't hang items, such as shopping bags, from
the stroller handles. Carrying baskets should be placed low, near the rear
Twin strollers should have a single, long footrest that
extends across both seats. Separate footrests can trap feet.
Most injuries from shopping carts involve children younger than 5
years. Fractures, internal injuries, and concussions are the most common
injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the design
of shopping carts be changed to help prevent cart tip-overs and falls from
carts. Until shopping carts are safer, the AAP strongly recommends not to use
them. Other options include using supervised in-store child play areas, taking
another adult with you to watch your child while you shop, or using a stroller
or wagon instead of a shopping cart.
If you choose to have your child ride in a shopping cart, children
Be left unattended.
Be allowed to
stand up in the cart.
Ride in the large basket of the shopping
Ride on the outside of the cart.
Carriers designed to sit on top of the cart or built into it do
not prevent a child from falling out. Avoid accidents by properly restraining
your child at all times in a cart, and do not leave your child unattended, even
for a moment.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Keeping your child safe. In SP Shevlov et al., eds., Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., pp. 457–506. New York: Bantam.
American Academy of Pediatrics (2006). Shopping
cart-related injuries to children. Pediatrics, 118(2):
825–827. Also available online:
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.