I know like you need something else to worry about! But unfortunately, shopping carts do pose a few risks to your child, especially when they start sitting in the front see (instead of just hanging out in their car seat.
1. Cover the Shopping Cart with A Shopping Cart Cover
HAVE YOU EVER taken your sick kiddo to the doctor, then run to the store to pick up the prescription. Of course your child sits in the shopping cart while you are there. Putting them in the shopping cart cover protects both your child from other people’s germs during their low resistance ill time, PLUS it protects other children from your child’s germs. Something we all appreciate in our post-pandemic world.
Putting them in the shopping cart cover protects both your child from other people’s germs during their low resistance ill time, PLUS it protects other children from your child’s germs.
HAVE YOU EVER had your child’s diaper leak while out shopping? Of course, you should take the time to sterilize the shopping cart they were sitting in, but if your child is sitting in your own shopping cart cover then all the mess is confined. Simply roll up the shopping cart cover and throw it in your diaper bag. All the mess is inside. At home simply put the shopping cart cover in the washer.
HAVE YOU EVER had a teething baby with you while you’re shopping? Of course they lean over and put their mouth on the nice smooth shopping car bar UGH! How many germs are on that bar? With a clean shopping cart cover your child is chewing on the toys and fabric you brought with you. You know they are clean. You know your child is safe from germs.
HAVE YOU EVER bought chicken at the grocery store only to find the package leak germs on your hands. Then your hands touch the shopping cart bar. How many times a day does that happen. How many really sick germs are on the shopping cart bar? Protect your child with a shopping cart cover or shopping cart bar cover.
What Shopping Cart Cover Works Best?
Most shopping cart covers are similar, but like this Poly Care cart cover (Amazon link), because it’s big enough even for the giant Costco carts, it’s washable, and it has toy straps and a cell phone pouch for those times where you just need to shop for five minutes without the crazy.
2. Wipe Down the Cart with Anti-Bacterial Wipes
If you don’t have a shopping cart cover yet, or forgot it at home, wipe the shopping cart down with anti-bacterial wipes.
Many grocery stores and the like have them at the front of the store still for those worried about COVID germs so you can often grab one for free right where you get your cart. If not, sticking a to-go pouch of anti-bacterial wipes (Amazon Link) in your diaper bag is a good practice.
For all the reasons I mentioned above, sanitizing the shopping cart is going to protect your baby from a plethora of germs, bacteria, and filth.
3. Make Sure Your Child Is Securely Buckled Into the Shopping Cart
This one is kind of obvious, but strapping your kiddo in, especially if they are under four years old is a vital safety precaution, so don’t settle for the first cart in the que if the strap is broken, or buy the shopping cart cover with no belt.
You never know when Karen is going to loose her mind and ram your cart, or when your baby will suddenly think they are a monkey and can climb down on their own in the 10 seconds you took to read that nutrition label.
4. Don’t Allow Your Child to Stand up In the Shopping Cart
I know, this sounds like a no-brainer, but those signs on the shopping cart telling you not to let your little one stand up in the cart are there for good reason.
It just doesn’t take much for a wobbly toddler to fall over and seriously hurt themselves when a cart moves even a little.
5. Don’t Allow Older Children to Stand on The Side of The Cart
When you’re tired, in a hurry, and choosing your battles, letting a little one stand on the side or back of the cart can seem like won’t be the worst thing. But don’t let this be the thing you let them get away with a time or two because, as a mom who has done it only to have to bust out the band-aids, it’s always going to end in a boo-boo or worse.
6. Never Leave Your Child Alone in The Shopping Cart
The temptation to not get stuck in the aisle by leaving your cart at the corner and dipping in to grab something is strong, I get it.
As parents have so much to do, no time, and we’re quick, but a desperate kidnapper can be even quicker if given an opportunity. Just don’t do it.
7. Put Your Child in the Car Before Emptying Your Cart
Again, simply because you never know when someone in the parking lot can’t drive well and may back into your cart, or if someone is desperate enough to try and abduct a baby out from under someone’s nose.
Play it safe and put your baby in the car first, where they are safely strapped into their car seat.
Conclusion: The Risks are Few, but Still There
While a shopping cart isn’t a huge hazard for your little one, there are seven things you can do to make it a bit safer including:
- Making the cart sanitary by using a shopping cart seat cover or wiping the cart with antibacterial wipes,
- Making sure your kiddo is strapped into the cart safely,
- Not allowing your child to stand up in, or on the side of the cart, and
- Putting your child into the car first, before unloading your shopping.
I hope these tips help you keep your shopping trips safe and happy.