Now we are told to not do that.
I know. Because shopping with a newborn wasn't difficult enough already? The truth of the matter is neither infant seats nor shopping carts were designed to work together in this way. Most car seat manuals spell it out, but not everyone reads — let alone commits to memory — every word. Especially when you're reading safety warnings for cribs, swings and baby bathtubs.
Prompted by the unfortunate death of a 3-month-old whose seat fell from the shopping cart in a parking lot, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a Shopping Cart Safety Alert in 2012. It urges stores to post signs and to label carts with warnings, but I've yet to see this in practice anywhere I shop. So people aren't stopping.
I have yet to be brave enough to approach parents I've seen doing this, but mom Criri did just that. "I was about to mention to a lady it's not safe and was walking over as the seat started to tip. Fortunately we both caught it!" Near misses like this happen all the time, but near misses don't make the news.
Kate tells of a similar incident not even involving a bulky car seat. She was shopping with her safely buckled-in infant and 4-year-old, when the older child unexpectedly grabbed the handle of the shopping cart, causing it to flip. "I was able to grab him before the cart hit the floor. I was so terrified after that."
By the time my third was born, I knew better. I proudly put his seat into the basket of the cart instead of on top. Except, per those CPSC guidelines I just mentioned? This is also a no-no. Crap. While I could not find any reports of injuries from stowing baby in such a manner, I can't exactly recommend it either. Here are some safer options:
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