Baby bucket car seats toddering on the top of shopping carts - Mothering Forums
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Family Safety > Baby bucket car seats toddering on the top of shopping carts
Eclipsepearl's Avatar Eclipsepearl 03:40 AM 09-27-2009
I see it all the time here in France and it breaks my heart. I just don't know how parent can think this is safe. A stranger only needs to bump the cart...

I heard that some stores in N. America ban this practice. The car seat has to go in the basket.

Does anyone have any information on this subject? Any stats? (which tend to be mixed up with other types of cart injuries). Are parents more educated on this matter back home?
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sweetpea_119's Avatar sweetpea_119 04:01 AM 09-27-2009
Sadly, I constantly see people here popping their babies in like that...I think they've never thought of the physics of it. Just like many other carseat issues... It is terribly frustrating!
ChetMC's Avatar ChetMC 05:31 AM 09-27-2009
I've seen a lot of infant seats placed inside the shopping cart (in the big basket part)... moreso than perched on the kiddie seat by the push bar.

We didn't use an infant seat much, but I recall the little hooks on it holding the seat snugly in place if you set it up on top of most shopping cart seats. On most carts it actually clicked into place.

Now, I've heard that part of the problem is that putting a baby seat up there makes the cart top heavy, but then you'd think that the carts with the built in baby seats would be dangerous too.

We wear our babies the vast majority of the time. I don't know though, the few times that we did it, the infant carrier up front didn't really seem that risky to me. I know that some stores and infant seat manufacturers discourage it, but I figured that it was more of a liability issue than anything else.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 10:26 AM 09-27-2009
I put DS2's seat on the cart - it drops down overtop of the basket part and is pretty secure, IMO. Sure, if the whole car tips over it'll fall too, but barring that, its not about to just fall of by a little bump.
momoftworedheads's Avatar momoftworedheads 11:17 AM 09-27-2009
My bucket seat attaches to carts but it still makes me nervous. I generally have worn my children when going into a store. It is a lot easier. We have some stores that have seats attached to the carts but you have to remember to bring a blanket into the store to put in those.

Take care,
SunShineSally's Avatar SunShineSally 11:38 AM 09-27-2009
When Ds was a baby his bucket snapped into the cart where I had to unhook it when I took him out. Now my sisters bucket for my Dn it did not snap so she just wore him and if my BIL took him he put the bucket in the back of the cart. I do not feel that the back of the cart in the big basket (that is where he had him) is safe. I see it here constantly drives me nuts!! I also see them laying the long way across the back of the cart I gasp everytime
Twinklefae's Avatar Twinklefae 11:49 AM 09-27-2009
It's not the risk of the infant seat coming off that makes it dangerous, it's the risk of the whole cart toppling over.

Shopping carts are actually quite tippy - it's a huge risk, and many companies are looking for ways to add an extra foot to carts to keep them from tipping sideways.

Here's the AAP info on it: http://www.aap.org/family/ShopCartPP.pdf

I wouldn't do it, it's just too big a risk.
bmcneal's Avatar bmcneal 11:51 AM 09-27-2009
With both DD and DS, when they were in the bucket seats, their seats hooked into the cart and I couldn't get them off without unlatching it like I had to to release it from the base. Now the whole seat across the basket thing kind of worries me, though.
redpajama's Avatar redpajama 12:15 PM 09-27-2009
When my oldest was a baby, I routinely did this. Like others have said, our infant seat "locked" onto the cart and had to be released as from its base in order to remove it. Because he was the *only* child I was responsible for at the time, I was always right with him/the cart and I felt (and feel) comfortable that the risk of the cart suddenly tipping over was minimal (almost non-existent, really).

Now that I have three children--a 4.5-year-old, and almost-3-year-old, and a newborn--I would absolutely not do this. My older two sometimes climb onto the outside of the cart (to ride on it) and, of course, have no concept of the physics involved--especially when they grab onto the side of the cart. Also, my kids are generally really good about staying close to me when we're out, but my 2.5-year-old is not completely above wandering/running off--so I know there is the possibility that I might have to abandon my cart in order to follow her or redirect her.

Generally, I wear the newborn, put the 2.5-year-old in the cart, and let the 4.5-year-old walk.

This reminds me, though--a little over a year ago, we were in an REI store and I had my daughter (then 1.5-years) in the cart (in the seat of the cart) and my son (then 3.5) was walking. He came up and stepped up onto the side of the cart, and the whole thing tipped. If it hadn't been for my husband's very quick reflexes, the cart would have tipped over on top of my son, with my daughter inside--I'm quite sure both would have been injured. So the concern isn't limited to infants in infant seats.

In my experience, grocery store carts are usually larger, with a wider wheel base, and tend to be more stable. But smaller, narrower carts (like the one at REI) tend to be considerably more "tippy."
aja-belly's Avatar aja-belly 12:53 PM 09-27-2009
i've had a grocery cart tip over. i was right there and when it started tipping i couldn't stop it (i did slow it down). so gld there wasn't a baby on top of it!
funkymamajoy's Avatar funkymamajoy 01:13 PM 09-27-2009
Its not banned and it happens here all the time. I think there might a little warning on the seat of the cart. The carts are not made to have that kind of weight on the back and can tip over.

Personally, I'm short and can't see over the bucket seat if its on the cart.
bandgeek's Avatar bandgeek 01:20 PM 09-27-2009
It's really not safe and not worth the risk, IMO. I was at the store one time and saw a kid in those wheelie shoe things come *thisclose* to slamming into a cart with a baby perched on top. I swear my heart stopped for a few seconds! But he didn't hit it and that baby remained safe, thank goodness. But it only takes one wrong move and that baby would have hit the ground.

It's very much like car accidents. No, you might NOT ever be in one, especially one bad enough to injure everyone. But we still use seat belts and car seats just in case. Same thing is true for the cart thing. No, your cart may never be hit by another cart, but you should practice safe cart driving anyway, and that means not placing something on your cart that makes it top heavy, particularly a living, breathing child that could be seriously injured IF something were to happen.
JL83's Avatar JL83 01:22 PM 09-27-2009
I don't see the big deal. The grocery store around here provide carts with a "fake" carseat attached to the top!

The carts themselves have the same height/width profile as the normal carts. And the fake carseat is perched MUCH higher than an infant bucket would be. These carts are in multiple chains.

If carts tipping over was really such a huge concern then I would expect these to be removed. Grocery stores don't like leaving themselves open to massive lawsuits by providing "dangerous" things for people's babies.
Twinklefae's Avatar Twinklefae 01:27 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
I don't see the big deal. The grocery store around here provide carts with a "fake" carseat attached to the top!

The carts themselves have the same height/width profile as the normal carts. And the fake carseat is perched MUCH higher than an infant bucket would be. These carts are in multiple chains.

If carts tipping over was really such a huge concern then I would expect these to be removed. Grocery stores don't like leaving themselves open to massive lawsuits by providing "dangerous" things for people's babies.
Those seats are bolted to the cart, distributing the weight across it, and are made of light foam, with much lighter weight limits than the majority of car seats (The ones here are only for up to 18lbs, which is 4lbs lighter than the lightest weight limit on a car seat.)

The car seats themselves are quite heavy.

Have you seriously never cornered a cart too tightly and had it wobble? Because I have. And I would never ever want my tiny baby to be on top if the thing went over. I think very carefully when I put my 2 year old in the cart. (Because honestly that's still dangerous.)
lifeguard's Avatar lifeguard 01:29 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
If carts tipping over was really such a huge concern then I would expect these to be removed. Grocery stores don't like leaving themselves open to massive lawsuits by providing "dangerous" things for people's babies.
Every. single. cart I've used has a printed warning to use the child restraints with sitting babies/young children. With the sheer volume of people who put the baby buckets on top it would have been addressed right now.

I must say I've never had a cart tip or seen one tip (& I worked at a grocery store) - it just doesn't seem like that risky a thing.

I never had a bucket so it's a null issue for me but I certainly don't think others are negligent when they do this VERY common practice.
JL83's Avatar JL83 01:30 PM 09-27-2009
How is the seat being bolted to the cart any different from a bucket that clips onto the cart?

I have NEVER seen a cart tip unless it was being played with by badly behaved teen-aged boys messing around with them at the far end of the parking lot. I have never had a cart come close to tipping.

Also, if you put the bucket in the main part you have zero room for groceries. How are you supposed to get your shopping done?
Peony's Avatar Peony 01:30 PM 09-27-2009
I have always put the bucket in the basket, even if it means dragging two baskets through the store with 3 kiddos mixed in somewhere.
pumpkin's Avatar pumpkin 01:44 PM 09-27-2009
People do it all the time. I've seen the cart tip over with the carseat on top. Scared me out of ever considering putting DD on the cart like that.
bandgeek's Avatar bandgeek 01:49 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
The carts themselves have the same height/width profile as the normal carts. And the fake carseat is perched MUCH higher than an infant bucket would be. These carts are in multiple chains.
It's the opposite here...the baby seat is much lower profile. I can EASILY see over it and I can't see over a car seat even if I stand on my tiptoes. So, IMO because it's lower profile, and secured to the cart (baby buckets may "click" when you attach them, but they are NOT secure), I think it's a much lower safety risk.

I've never seen a car accident where people got really hurt...doesn't mean it doesn't happen. I HAVE seen a VERY close call with the bucket thing...that's enough to make me not want to do it.
Twinklefae's Avatar Twinklefae 01:56 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by JL83 View Post
How is the seat being bolted to the cart any different from a bucket that clips onto the cart?

I have NEVER seen a cart tip unless it was being played with by badly behaved teen-aged boys messing around with them at the far end of the parking lot. I have never had a cart come close to tipping.

Also, if you put the bucket in the main part you have zero room for groceries. How are you supposed to get your shopping done?
A seat bolted to the top of the cart is different because it is supposed to be there. It is part of the cart, and, as I pointed out is FAR lighter than your car seat. Therefore, it is a lot less likely to tip.

Why do you have to bring the bucket shopping at all? Could you wear your baby? Prop them up in the actual child seat with a belt on? (As this is far lower profile and less likely to make the cart tip) Bring a stroller for shorter/smaller trips? Leave baby home and shop at different hours?

There are ways to work around it. It's dangerous. Obviously, it's a parental decision at the end of the day, but it's not one I would ever make.
amandaleigh37's Avatar amandaleigh37 03:36 PM 09-27-2009
I don't do it. Too risky for me.

And for those who say it's safe because the car seat "clicks" in place - That may be when you're pushing it around the store. But the car seat was not designed to be used that way, not tested for safety that way, etc. How do you know a bump wouldn't make it come loose? Or if the cart tipped, that it wouldn't fly right off?

Of course everyone has to take responsibility for what they are comfortable with. For me personally it is just too risky.
an_aurora's Avatar an_aurora 05:45 PM 09-27-2009
I would never, ever do it. I found a study about injuries in infant seats not in the car and injury and death can and does happen.
Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 05:55 PM 09-27-2009
I cringe when I see people do this, even though I used to do it w/dd. I always want to say something to people, something polite, but I don't feel like it's my place. I started putting DD in the cart part even though it made limited room for groceries.
I do notice that a lot of the time when I see it happening, the male partner is pushing the cart with both eyes on the baby in the bucket, and the mom is shopping (or vice versa). I don't think it's too bad as long as someone is constantly with the cart.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 10:16 PM 09-27-2009
So, I was going to post something very snarky, but I'm going to resist and just say this:

If this was so horribly dangerous then a: there would be PSA's out the wazoo about it and b: stores would *NOT* allow it - too easy to get sued. Seeing as I've *never* seen a PSA nor a single sign *ANYWHERE* saying not to, I'm not going to worry about it. I don't do it all the time (for extended trips, I put DS2 in the mei tei and DS1 in the basket), but for short, quick 'run in and grab something' I definetly do, especially if DS2 is asleep.

And as for the argument that the ones taht are bolted onto the seat are lighter and thus safer... IDK. Everyone I've ever seen is about 6-12" HIGHER up than my carseat is and thus makes the cart *WAY* more top-heavy than my carseat does set ontop. And honestly, either way, if the whole cart tips, theres going to be issues. But I just don't see much safety difference between the two. And one requires waking my kid up and the other does not. So, I'm going to wake him up.
mamadelbosque's Avatar mamadelbosque 10:21 PM 09-27-2009
Seriously folks, its not banned *ANYWHERE* I've ever been, and I've *NEVER* seen a warning not to do it *ANYWHERE*... if it was such a huge risk as some of you seem to think then it would be banned, and there would be warnings on every single grocery cart - Walmart, Giant Eagle, Kroger, would all have huge warnings and people telling you not to. But they don't.

Its not something I do all the time (mostly only when I'm going in for a short/quick trip and DS2 is blessidly asleep), but I do do it occasionally. And have no plans to stop.
Spirit Dancer's Avatar Spirit Dancer 11:13 PM 09-27-2009
I wear my babies 95% of the time but I have but a bucket on a cart on occasion. I have to agree with other posters- I have never seen a cart tip. I suppose a stroller could tip too- I have seen this happen- so should we ban strollers?

LOL, are we getting to safety minded for our own good?
triscuitsmom's Avatar triscuitsmom 11:26 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
Seriously folks, its not banned *ANYWHERE* I've ever been, and I've *NEVER* seen a warning not to do it *ANYWHERE*... if it was such a huge risk as some of you seem to think then it would be banned, and there would be warnings on every single grocery cart - Walmart, Giant Eagle, Kroger, would all have huge warnings and people telling you not to. But they don't.

Its not something I do all the time (mostly only when I'm going in for a short/quick trip and DS2 is blessidly asleep), but I do do it occasionally. And have no plans to stop.
*shrugs* Not sure how far you're extending *ANYWHERE* but someone already linked to the AAP warning not to do it.

That aside I would never do this, but not because of carts tipping... Car seats are for cars, not for out of cars. I am more worried about oxygen saturations and positional asphyxia in car seats, and only use them for as long as I need to at a time. I pop baby in a carrier to shop and then back into the car seat once we are in the car.
chickabiddy's Avatar chickabiddy 11:28 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post
*shrugs* Not sure how far you're extending *ANYWHERE* but someone already linked to the AAP warning not to do it.
It's also in many carseat manuals.
triscuitsmom's Avatar triscuitsmom 11:33 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
It's also in many carseat manuals.
Good point I just went to check my manual and sure enough on page 11 (I have a Snugride32 and am in Canada) it says "NEVER place carrier on the top of shopping cart."
JL83's Avatar JL83 11:48 PM 09-27-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by triscuitsmom View Post
That aside I would never do this, but not because of carts tipping... Car seats are for cars, not for out of cars. I am more worried about oxygen saturations and positional asphyxia in car seats, and only use them for as long as I need to at a time. I pop baby in a carrier to shop and then back into the car seat once we are in the car.
How nice that you had a baby who would sleep and didn't live in a cold climate.

If my DD actually fell asleep in the car on the way to shopping when she was a baby, I was letting her sleep. Also, because I followed the advice on not putting her into a snowsuit under the carstraps, what else was I suppose to do when it was well below freezing? I had a nice warm protected carseat (blankets and shower cap thing). I sure wasn't going to take her out to put her into a carrier in the parking lot and have her freeze.

And if I brought the carseat into the store and she was still asleep I was going to try to get my shopping done before she woke up.
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