Shopping Cart Injuries Remain Common

According to the New York Times (Published 01/30/2014, Bakalar, Nicholas, Web), shopping carts might not seem like a particularly dangerous place for a child, but from 1990 to 2011, an average of 66 children a day wound up in emergency rooms after injuries sustained in and near them.  Researchers studied children under 15 and made estimates of injuries based on a sample of emergency room visits in 100 hospitals nationwide. Most of the injured were children under 4 who fell out of a cart, and more than 90 percent of their wounds were to the head. Carts tipping over, running into or falling over the cart, and entrapment of extremities accounted for the rest of the damage. The findings are published online in Clinical Pediatrics.

Over all ages, about 80 percent of injuries were to the head, 14 percent to the upper extremities, and 6 percent to the lower extremities. In the 22 years covered by the study, about 16,500 children were injured seriously enough to be admitted to a hospital.

Voluntary standards for shopping carts were introduced in 2004, but the number of injuries has not decreased since then.  “The take-home message is that the standard can be strengthened and we can do much better,” said the lead author, Dr. Gary A. Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “These injuries can be prevented.”

Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., serves the injured, and their families, in Reading, Pottsville and throughout Pennsylvania.  The lawyers there handle personal injury claims, including claims for serious injuries or death.

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