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No Car Seats on Grocery Carts – Please!

No Car Seat in Grocery CartToday I saw you at the store and I gasped. The memories washed over me. I wanted to tell you my story. But you don’t know me and you certainly aren’t seeking unsolicited advice from the lady across the grocery store aisle.

But I gave you this URL and hoped you’d look it up and read this post. And I pray you realize that I’m not trying to stick my nose in your business. I just don’t want anyone to endure a tragedy.

So here is my story — one I have never told before.

It’s a struggle trying to take care of your family’s needs while you have a little baby. I know. I have six kids of my own! Getting all the shopping done before someone has a meltdown (the baby, older siblings, or mom) is a weekly trial I never looked forward to. I mean where in the world do you put everything? How do you juggle the baby and the other children and the food and the diaper bag and the enormous package of toilet paper that, by itself, fills the entire cart?

When my fifth baby and first son was born in 2000, I was again experiencing this dilemma. I decided the best way to manage it all, was to drop off the three oldest kids at karate, scoop up baby Samson with Monica (3) under her own power, and rush down to the Winn Dixie at the end of the strip mall. If I had an organized list and kept a brisk pace, I could get back to class just as they were finishing up.

With my new grocery shopping plan secure, I got the older kids into class and hurried down to the store with the two little ones. I unlocked Samson’s car seat from the automobile base and carried him inside. I selected a cart, put his carrier up on the seat area, and carefully snapped the car seat locking mechanism onto the back bar.

Off we went, quickly gathering the items on my list. I checked out with just enough time to load the car and get back to class. Whew!

As I scurried through the parking lot, my cart hit a small pot hole in the black top. Samson’s car seat broke away from the cart, flew straight ahead over the far end of the cart, flipped in the air, and headed toward the pavement. The carrier handle which — thank God — was locked upright, happened to be the exact point that hit the pavement and happened to hold firm. The car seat bounced off the road and continued on it’s somersault, finally landing upright in the middle of the parking lot.

I was horrified and shocked as I frantically ran toward the seat. Samson was screaming from being violently awakened from his nap. But miraculously he was unharmed.

Samson was spared serious or fatal injury only because of sheer luck or divine providence or both. I honestly thought car seats were equipped to be safely used on the top of a grocery cart. But they are not. Please, dear mom, they are not!

[Note: since publishing this post, I have been informed that not only is the latching mechanism not designed to securely attach to a grocery cart, but doing so can actually damage the mechanism, making the seat unsafe in the auto base and/or on the stroller!]

Now, over 12 years later, seeing a baby in a car seat propped up on a grocery cart puts knots in my stomach and my hair on end. Just a few months ago, a sweet three-month-old baby died when his carrier fell from a shopping cart. I don’t want that to be you —or any mom — ever again.

The American Association of Pediatrics has a list of rules when it comes to kids and shopping carts, but Dr. Smith says it’s best to keep infant carriers in strollers that have a latch that will hold that carrier in place.

“If you’re not able to do that, I always tell parents here to put it inside the actual basket of the cart. It’s just a safer place for it to be,” he says.

It’s very rare for me to go shopping without seeing someone like you — a caring mom just trying to take care of her family — with a car seat up on the shopping cart. You’re not alone. “Everyone does it.” But please, please don’t. I know that trying to figure out how to transport your baby and all the other things you need will be a challenge. But please find another way!

May you and all your babies be safe.

Addendum #1

It is March 20, 2014. This post has exploded. I am grateful for the shares and comments. (And I cannot tell you how glad I am that just last week I moved this site from a BlueHost VPS to LighteningBase. I could shout from the rooftops how happy I am that my sites are no longer crashing every day and that the load times are not bogging down!)

In an attempt to keep the post on purpose, I’ve just written a follow up post for those of you who really, really, really need to tell me that the accident I describe could have been avoided. If that describes you, please go to the link provided in this addendum first to vent. Then you can come back — happy, refreshed, and rejuvenated — to focus on the topic at hand.

Thank you for  your cooperation!

The Obvious Thing About Childhood Accidents


Addendum #2

It is March 21, 2014. Sigh.

  1. For the few of you who insist that because you’ve put your child’s seat on a grocery cart like this and it hasn’t ever fallen, so this will never happen (because, apparently, the laws of physics don’t apply to you), please, use  logic. I have been a parent for nearly 27 years and we have never once had a house fire. For some bizarre reasons I still have smoke detectors and a couple of fire extinguishers in my house. (Crazy, conspiracy-theory, nut-job that I am. Oh, and because I must be selling fire extinguishers and smoke detectors. (Because I own Amazon.com.))
  2. For those of you who claim your seat really does lock down tight on a grocery cart and fail to acknowledge that this can damage the mechanism making it unable to attach completely to a car seat base or stroller (because, apparently, the laws of physics don’t apply to you), please, use  logic. If you use a car seat for safety, it only provides safety, if the safety features work.

You are free to ignore the facts. Your call. We all make choices. But be real grownups and stop arguing the stupid.

More facts you are free to ignore: Infant Car Seats Safety and Shopping carts -What you NEED to know. To quote one small portion (you should read the entire thing if you’re in doubt):

I’ve been pulling every manual I can find offline the last week to compile a list of infant car seats and their manufacturer recommendations for use with shopping carts. Its a list of the 2012 popular infant car seats that were sold last year into this year.  I included links when I could so that you could go over the manuals yourself. There are less then 2 manuals that I could not find a specific sentence of ‘NEVER place carrier in/on top of shopping carts.’  But, there are warnings in every guide that state/warn of fall hazards. ‘Fall Hazard: Childs movement can slide carrier. NEVER place carrier near edge of counter tops, tables or other elevated surfaces.’  So it’s pretty easy to put two and two together. Infant carriers do not belong on a surface that they can FALL from.

But, yea, I know, I know. You’ve been putting your car seats on the grocery cart forever and nothing bad has ever happened and, plus, your car seat totally works that way and it doesn’t damage it at all.

La la la la…I can’t hear you!

Addendum #3

Once I had this experience, I never put a baby carrier atop a grocery cart again. I had one more child (my sixth) three years later. I’ve always been the primary grocery shopper and always did my shopping during the day so we could all be home as a family at night.

Today is March 18, 2014. Due to all the questions about how to accomplish this, I’ve added a few highly rated, affordable products that might help you do your shopping with a safe, comfortable baby. I have not used any of them, as my “baby” is not ten years old. This is for information on the types of products available and mentioned by others.

Hope they help!

Baby Grocery Cart Covers

Summer 2-in-1 Cushy Cart Cover and Seat Positioner

Key feature: This has a removable “infant positioner” to keep even young children safely and softly seated so they don’t tip over and don’t bang their heads and faces on the push bar.

Summer Grocery Cart Cover

Leachco Prop ‘R Shopper Body Fit Shopping Cart Cover

Key feature: This has two “side props” that adjust to tuck around baby for full support on both sides.

Leachco Shopping Cart Cover

Infantino Compact 2-in-1 Shopping Cart Cover

Key feature: This cover is very highly rated, inexpensive, and also fits on a restaurant high chair.

Infantino Shopping Cart Cover

 Baby Slings and Packs

Maya Wrap Lightly Padded Baby Ring Sling

Key feature: Can nurse baby in carrier, lots of colors.

Maya Baby Carrier

Boba Wrap Classic Baby Carrier

Key feature: Infant up to 35 pounds, model has red hair (heh)

Boba Baby Carrier

Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier

Key feature: padded shoulder straps, detachable hood

Infantino Baby Carrier

{ 321 comments… add one }
  • KarenB April 5, 2013, 7:28 am

    My mom just sent me this page. I am freaked out. I do this all the time and thought it was fine. Thank you for writing about this. I will never do it again!

  • LisaLisa April 5, 2013, 8:47 am

    How terrifying. So glad your son didn’t get hurt. Thanks for sharing this story to help others.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 5, 2013, 9:44 am

    KarenB, thank you for reading and please thank you mom for me. I’m relieved if just one person gets the word. I’ve already received a number of notes on Facebook, so I’m hopeful that people will find out without a tragedy!

    Amanda, thank you so much for adding your story! This is a real danger! Believe me, I feel your pain and I’m so glad your baby was not harmed!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…How to Link to a Comment with WordPress Comment PermalinksMy Profile

  • Amanda Jones April 5, 2013, 9:30 am

    Thanks Alison for writing this story. This happened to me 8 years ago when my 3 year old toddler was trying to climb in the cart and the baby was knocked off the top. We stood out in the parking lot crying, people just stared, no one would help. Like you, the latch bar was up so my baby was not hurt. Since that day I put my baby inside the cart and a HAND BASKET under the cart for the food. My children hate to shop with me, and say please mother do not talk to anyone in the store and tell them your story. Just trying to save one baby at a time.

  • Lindsay Aquino April 5, 2013, 10:57 am

    I raised 3 kids 2 were twins and would stuff car seats where ever I could fit them in carts and they all turned out fine. To stop people in store and tell them how to take care of their kids is rude, we all have the right to care for ours as we please. I don’t mean to downplay your story I’m sure it was very scary for you but if you see someone with the car seat propped on the handle bar of the cart just keep walking…it doesn’t affect you.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 5, 2013, 1:51 pm

    Lindsay, you’ll notice that mine “all turned out fine,” too. That doesn’t mean what I was doing was smart or safe. And it doesn’t mean that knowing the potential danger of a situation isn’t worthwhile.

    I only used the seat that way because I thought it was safe. Had I known the dangers I wouldn’t have done it. I assume that when other moms are doing something that is potentially very dangerous with their babies, it’s because they do not know and I assume they will care and want to know. If that doesn’t apply to you, so be it.

    I didn’t stop anyone in the store to tell them anything. I wrote the post so that I can give someone a simple slip of paper without saying anything or criticizing them. Then they have the info and can choose to act on it. Giving information isn’t imposing on anyone’s rights.

    Finally, your assertion that we should just keep walking and pay no mind when someone is endangering their child unintentionally is seriously mind boggling. And, yes, if I see a toddler playing in the road, I will run and get her.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 88: Take InitiativeMy Profile

  • cherrybomb April 5, 2013, 2:17 pm

    I bet Valli Berg wishes someone cared enough to give her this information. If trying to save children is rude, then we need more rude going on.

  • Lindsay Aquino April 5, 2013, 5:04 pm

    A child in danger or playing in the street and a parent choosing to put their child who is strapped into a car seat in the seat part of a shopping cart are very different situations.

  • Melissa Rose April 5, 2013, 5:39 pm

    This also happened to me and my baby. I was returning the shopping cart and went over a bump and out flew the baby carrier. Again, the handle bar of the carrier was up and was the initial point of impact. My heart dropped and I screamed as I rushed to get my screaming baby out of the carrier and make sure he was okay. Luckily, others around me saw what happened and grabbed my 2year old so he wasn’t running around in the parking lot. Everything was fine, but I can’t tell you how terrifying it truly was when it was my baby that I saw flying through the air.

    Admittedly, I am one of those “sure, those things happen, but only to other people” type of person. I am grateful that I get a chance to change my thinking while still holding my sweet little one. I think your blog post lovingly coveys the risks involved and lets the reader decide what they will do with that info. Thank you for caring enough about moms of young babies to share your experience.

  • Alison Moore Smith April 5, 2013, 6:37 pm

    Melissa Rose, thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words.

    My thoughts were the same. I thought I was being safe and was horrified to realize the danger involved. I, too, was grateful to have a second chance and to learn this safety lesson the way I did.

    cherrybomb, I am sure Valli Berg (the mother of the baby who died) didn’t understand the dangers, either, and hearing of her tragedy broke my heart. I suspect she wouldn’t have a problem letting others know about these dangers either.

    Lindsay, I’m always playing devil’s advocate and cynical of relayed information, so I don’t begrudge that at all. But your position is nonsensical. If a parent does not know there is danger (wether it be an oncoming car or otherwise), then informing them (gently) doesn’t qualify as “rude” in my book. In fact, allowing them to put their baby at risk for fear of being called or being seen as “rude” is simply unconscionable. What do you think Valli Berg would say if she found out someone saw her baby seat, knew about the safety issue, and said nothing? What would you think if you had seen her and kept walking because didn’t “affect you”? Maybe you’d be fine. I wouldn’t.

    As the post spells out, car seats were not designed to be placed on top of grocery cart seats. Obviously the position is precarious, but many mothers (myself included) believed that this position — that they would never otherwise put their child in — IS safe BECAUSE they think the mechanism that locks the seat to the car base ALSO locks it to the shopping cart. BUT IT DOES NOT.

    Very sincerely, I’m glad you had no injuries to your children. I’m glad Amanda and Melissa and I didn’t have injuries to our children. But perhaps from the fact that this little blog already has THREE testimonials from people sharing similar instances from moms who thought there kids were safe, would lead you to conclude that the information might be helpful to those of us who want to protect our children and didn’t know the seats actually do not work that way.

    Today two of my dear nieces with newborns sent me messages, explaining that they did not know about the issue and would change their current practice. One prenatal nurse who teaches parenting safety classes said she’d add this to her discussions. That is the point of the post. I want people to KNOW about it so they can make an INFORMED decision. If they don’t know the truth — that these seats do NOT lock to shopping carts — then they can’t properly weight the risks.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 90: Flip the SwitchMy Profile

  • LisaLisa April 5, 2013, 6:49 pm

    _a parent choosing to put their child who is strapped into a car seat in the seat part of a shopping cart_

    I think maybe Lindsay doesn’t understand that the child is strapped into the car seat, the car seat is _not_ strapped to the shopping cart? Instead of being secure, the car seat is teetering on top of the shopping cart and the latch that people think it hooking them together doesn’t really do it.

    I don’t think anyone in their right mind would put a car seat in a place like that _unless_ they thought it was locked in.

  • Farmgirl April 5, 2013, 7:05 pm

    Wow, I had no idea this didn’t lock the car seat on. I’m just beside myself thinking about all the times I put my baby there. Thank you.

  • Miriam April 5, 2013, 7:05 pm

    What about the seat belt that is often on the carts? Could you attach it to the carseat handle so the carseat couldn’t easily topple off?

  • Alison Moore Smith April 5, 2013, 7:24 pm

    Miriam, if you could jerry rig the shopping cart seat belt to actually secure the seat somehow, I think it would help a great deal. I’m not sure what that method would be, but at least it’s a start.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…3 Work at Home Productivity SecretsMy Profile

  • Shanonymous April 6, 2013, 12:44 am

    Allison, this happened to me last fall, but I was in the store. No one saw it happen but me and my 4 year old. I was so upset and so guilty and afraid what people would think I never told anyone until now. My baby was just bruised and scared. Thank you for being brave to save another baby.

  • Pancko April 6, 2013, 1:13 am

    Lindsay Aquino, I’m glad you’re not my neighbor. I’m sure if you saw my kids in danger you’d sip your coffee and turn back to your novel.

    Caring about others isn’t rude. Assuming the best of people isn’t rude. Trying to be loving isn’t rude. But don’t worry about what I think. It doesn’t affect you. Just keep walking.

  • mothermayi April 6, 2013, 3:12 pm

    This is such important information. I’m going to pass it to my children! Save the grandbabies. (I thought it locked on, too!)

  • Kelly Lester April 6, 2013, 8:18 pm

    I had no idea Alison!!! How truly frightening for you and THANK YOU for sharing this story. I KNOW it will save someone from a tragedy!

  • Melanie April 7, 2013, 12:33 pm

    I think what happened to you was a freak accident. I make sure the infant seat is latched into the cart. It helps that its an infant doesnt move around.

  • ashley April 7, 2013, 6:52 pm

    I had this happen to me but thank God she landed in the big part of the cart.

  • Heather Cook April 7, 2013, 6:54 pm

    As an EMT … I also want to say, make sure the carrier handle is locked in the DOWN position when driving.

    There are cases where children are impaled by the carrier handle when it’s broken off in an accident. Yet I see people driving with the handle UP all the time.
    Heather Cook recently posted…Gym Gawker’s Stream of ConsciousnessMy Profile

  • Elizabeth April 7, 2013, 7:16 pm

    I thought this post was also going to be about not putting a blanket over the carseat too! That drives me just as crazy when I see it. You can suffocate your baby and you can’t see them at all! Just bundle them up with a hat and blanket over the straps! Thanks for this post. I was guilty of the carseat on the cart with my first baby. After doing it a couple times it just didn’t seem safe to me. Then I discovered the wonderful world of baby carriers!

  • Jess April 7, 2013, 7:24 pm

    I’ll try to describe this so it’s not confusing, but I always put the carrier behind the child seat area… Sideways so the head & feet ends were over the sides of the cart & buckle the seat belt around the handle of the carrier, so it couldn’t really go anywhere… Also I could still put stuff underneath the baby & in the seat area. Does that even make sense? Another plus is you can see where you’re going 😉

  • Stacy April 7, 2013, 7:25 pm

    My children are no longer in an infant seat but when they were, I used to get frustrated because my seat would not latch to the cart seat. I was always a bit jealous of the moms with baby in front and a whole basket to fill. I guess I was the lucky one. I had no idea that what they were doing was unsafe. Thanks for the info. I will share your post.

  • Grandma April 7, 2013, 7:33 pm

    Lindsay Aquino, why do you believe sharing a potential danger to a mother regarding her child is rude, but your telling others what to do is not rude? Do you know how very little pressure it takes for a neck to break? Do you know how much damage a baby can sustain in a fall to the floor? Why would a caring person not want to share the potential danger with someone whose baby is in danger? It is then the mother’s decision, but at least she has the knowledge of the danger. Ignorance can be dangerous, and as for me, I shall share this with anyone I see who has placed their carrier on the carts improperly. In fact, I intend to share it with the mangers of our grocery stores. They may wish to institute a policy regarding this and/or look for carts that can accommodate carriers more easy. Obviously , you have chosen to look the other way, no one is telling you to do otherwise. We ask that you show the same courtesy. We choose education over ignorance of this danger.

  • Rebecca April 7, 2013, 7:42 pm

    Wow. I know I did this 12 years ago when my eldest was a baby. Praise God He protected her from my ignorance. I will pass this information to everyone I can, and will be linking your post to my blog in hopes that another baby will be saved. Thank you.

  • Sarah April 7, 2013, 8:17 pm

    I`m lucky enough to have heard stories like this before my secind was born….I have found an ergonomic baby carrier to be my BEST friend when shopping. When tiny, I used a Moby wrap, now we have an Ergo carrier. My little one is safe and secure, plus out of overly germy reach. Now that she is 14 months, we still use it! I find it much easier than lugging around the carseat anyway. My 5 year old can be chased after if necessary, and the younger is never left staring at the ceiling. Just a practical suggestion from a fellow mom who has made it work….

  • Tomlin April 7, 2013, 8:28 pm

    Most important post I’ve read this year. Thank you.

  • Cyndi April 7, 2013, 8:50 pm

    Um, Im sorry, but DUH! How can anyone plop their baby on the top seat part of a cart, resting against the handlebar and think that is safe??? If you really need someone to tell you balancing an unsecured car seat on ANYTHING can endanger your infant, you are an idiot!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 10:09 pm

    I think what happened to you was a freak accident. I make sure the infant seat is latched into the cart. It helps that its an infant doesnt move around.

    Melanie, that’s really the point of my post. It wasn’t a freak accident. So far as I’ve read, we now have four testimonials just here — in addition to the news reports of the dead baby — showing that it’s not that uncommon.

    Problem is, you cannot “make sure the infant seat is latched into the cart,” because car seats are not made to lock onto grocery carts, they are made to lock to the car seat base.

    It’s only incidental that the latching mechanism might seem to work on some carts. It’s not manufactured to be secure or to ensure safety. And that’s the info I’m hoping is disseminated. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 97: Live the Strenuous LifeMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Kelly, thank you for your kind words and for helping to spread the info.

    I still feel horrible about the incident, but decided — 12 years later — that it was long past time for me to let others learn from my mistake. I hope you are right. I hope it saves precious babies. 🙂
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  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 10:12 pm

    ashley, thank you for sharing your experience. I’m so glad your baby wasn’t hurt. I hope people can see that the seats don’t lock onto the grocery cart!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…100DC Day 90: Flip the SwitchMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith April 7, 2013, 10:20 pm

    I want to sincerely thank you all for contributing your thoughts and for spreading the word. 🙂

    Heather Cook and Sarah, thanks for the info. Jess, I think that makes sense. Using the seat belt would have to make it more secure than the way I was doing it.

    Cyndi, I don’t think I’m an idiot. 🙂 The problem is that people honestly think the seat locking mechanism (made to lock the carrier to the auto base) locks onto the metal bar on the cart’s back rest. (I can’t explain what they’re thinking at Target or other stores with carts made of plastic with no metal bar.) I’m trying to let people know it doesn’t work that way.

    Appreciate all your shares!
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  • MMS April 8, 2013, 2:03 am

    Just look at that picture. The center of gravity is just wrong. Who would ever put a baby up like that?

  • Rebecca April 8, 2013, 5:29 am

    We had done this a few times at different stores but at our Shaws grocery store the angle on the seat would make my daughter upset so we just put her in the cart. After that I was struggling to put her on a cart one time and that’s when I did a little research of my own. Luckily she’s old enough to sit in the carts seat now. I’m glad we stopped trying to fit the car seat on.

  • Ludicrous Mama April 8, 2013, 11:31 am

    The newer metal carts have bits of the metal bars that stick up to prevent the latch from reaching the back of the seat to connect. I’m not sure on the plastic carts. But as I recall, they’re too thick for the mechanism to “latch.”

    I always try and put my car seat in the body of the cart, but some places had carts that were too small. I didn’t always have my Ergo with me. So when I really had no other option than the top of the cart, I’d “drive” my cart by holding the sides of the car seat instead of the cart handle.

    *BUT* I was aware that it wasn’t safe. I made an informed decision, and don’t begrudge anyone who thought that maybe I didn’t know giving me a friendly reminder. But it totally depends on the tone of voice and wording, the line between judging and helpful.

  • alisa padilla April 8, 2013, 11:42 am

    I did this and would honestly do it again but I also would hold onto the seat while the cart moved. And no telling her people about safety of their children isn’t rude but unfortunately the umpteen # of people who like to tell you how to parent daily is rude and sometimes hard to differentiate. As with any piece of baby gear everyone needs to be careful.

  • props April 9, 2013, 10:26 am

    This is good to know. I don’t think anyone would put a cart that way if they knew this. At least not anyone who cared about their kids.

  • D April 21, 2013, 2:26 am

    I did this with my daughter and never had an issue. As parents we need to be extra careful that’s all.

  • Wendy September 22, 2013, 10:30 am

    As someone who worked in grocery at the corporate level for a decade, I can tell you first hand that this is a problem we dealt with constantly. It’s so scary to see so many parents throwing off the center of gravity on an unstable cart like that. It is very hard to tell your customers without offending them, but there is NEVER a time that the car seat on top of a cart is safe. The car seat manufacturers say NO, the cart manufacturers say PLEASE DON’T because their carts are not made for that. And, doing so can damage the mechanism in your seat so if you’re ever in an accident, your seat can malfunction.

    It may LOOK like it works, but honesty…what if there was a little bar on the back of a semi going down the highway? Just because it might click there, doesn’t mean it belongs there or is even remotely safe. Maximum safety with your children, every time.

  • Alison Moore Smith September 26, 2013, 2:45 am

    Wendy, thanks for your personal experience.

    Spot on. It’s not safe EVER. And you bring up another good point about how putting so much weight on top destabilizes the whole package.
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  • Paula March 10, 2014, 5:24 pm

    I had a knot in my stomach reading your story. I was so afraid that something bad happened to your son and was so relieved when I read that he was ok. I’m sharing this with everyone that I know who has a little one.
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  • Kathleen March 10, 2014, 6:34 pm

    Alison – I’m so glad your son was/is okay. What a scary thing to have happen. I will be sharing this because it is such an important message. Thanks for writing about this topic.
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  • Lin March 10, 2014, 6:50 pm

    It’s been a long time since my kids were small, but my car seat/carrier was specifically designed to attach to a shopping cart, so I don’t think you can make the assumption that none are designed to hold your baby safely. If I had placed my baby in the back of the cart, my baby would have been buried with jars and cans. Best we don’t panic about all the things that could happen and simply do the best you can. For every car seat that has slipped from it’s secure attachment on top of the cart, I’m sure there are other stories of a cart tipping and the baby being hurt by that or by the contents of the cart. Certainly, it may be safer to leave the baby at home, away from the cart altogether, but for most moms, that just isn’t an option, and hey, things can happen at home too. Just do the best you can.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 10, 2014, 6:39 pm

    Thanks, Kathleen. It was horrifying. I don’t want anyone to have that happen to them. Or worse.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth MotherMy Profile

  • Sally March 12, 2014, 11:13 am

    Hi Allison: I am so glad you pointed out the dangers of carriers and shopping carts. Hundreds of reports are made to the Consumer Product Safety Commission every year about injuries from a car seat falling from a shopping cart. The good news is that there are several safe options for bringing a baby with you to the store.

    One safe and convenient option is using a specially-designed cart with a Safe-Dock fitted in the top basket, where you can buckle in your baby’s carrier. If you haven’t seen these new features in your grocery store, you can go to http://www.shoppingcartsafety.com and type your ZIP code into the search area. The site will show which nearby stores have Safe-Dock, and if your favorite stores do not have them, you can click a button to write a note to the store requesting they use Safe-Docks. Happy Shopping!

  • Lisa March 12, 2014, 11:14 am

    Only 2 years ago I did not know this. Thanks for the info.
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  • Sharon Anne March 14, 2014, 1:04 am

    Certainly, if my memory serves me right… a car seats can simply fit down in side-ways (nestled within) a cart-seat. Instead of unsafely there balanced on top of the handle as pictured. Am I not right? Maybe not all, but my granddaughter’s can.

  • Dumb Mom Award of the year March 14, 2014, 4:03 pm

    I was shopping with 3 kids. One in a car seat in the front of the cart, two walking. When I went to go get something to put in my cart the 2 walkers climbed up on the cart in the front by the car seat. With the weight of all 3 of them and no groceries to balance it the cart fell over on top of my two and the car seat toppled out. No one was seriously injured, and I count my lucky stars. Lesson learned. I never did that again. Please learn from my mistakes and keep your kids safe.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 14, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Dumb Mom Award of the year, bless your heart for sharing your story!

    But just look at some of the comments above. Here and on social media, some people have been downright angry, hostile, and rude. I mean how DARE I share my story if it makes them feel guilty! Truth is, *I* feel tremendously guilty, too! But how much better to realize a real danger and avoid it than to feel warm and fuzzy about doing something dangerous!

    I hope others will see your comment and save themselves from a painful situation. Thanks again!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth MotherMy Profile

  • amy March 14, 2014, 5:27 pm

    I am so grateful for your son being ok.. I will tell you my sister had the same experience and it did fracture he small daughters head.. She is ok, but it was scary and very horrifying. I have five children of my own and after that happened to my sister i never put my kids on a cart that way again, I very rarely did before but with my sisters experience and my sweet niece being hurt, I never did it again.. I think this is great that you are informing others.. Keep it up!

  • Shyloh March 15, 2014, 12:06 am

    Nice to warn people of the danger. but that makes shopping with kids all the more frustrating. Almost impossible. If I put my baby inside the cart( which I have done when I don’t have a lot to get) there is not enough room for the groceries. I usually fill the basket up. Not like you can put much in the seat cause everything falls through the leg holes.

  • Natalie March 15, 2014, 6:16 am

    When my 2nd child was born I always put her car seat in the shopping cart and my 2 yr old in the seat. I quickly found that I had almost no space for groceries. Now that I have 3 kids I always use an infant carrier, such as a Moby wrap or Ergo. Baby loves being close to me too! And if I go to a store that has the half size shopping carts, I put my baby in the stroller and I let my 5 yr old push the shopping cart. She loves to help that way. Just wanted to point out that infant carriers are a great idea!

  • Mary Ann March 15, 2014, 11:03 am

    When I had a lot of children at home sometimes we would have to go to the store all together. I always put the baby carrier in the cart and maybe one toddler in the seat strapped in. If I needed a lot of groceries I simply pulled another cart behind me. The older kids helped find things and the younger ones had to touch the cart. It was great to get out of the house!

  • KC March 15, 2014, 2:14 pm

    I just wanted to address Heather’s comment above about the seat handles being DOWN when driving – you need to go by your manual. Every car seat is different. My infant carrier was one that required the handle to be UP when in the car. Know your car seat manual and follow it…even if you run into people who offer you ‘advice’ that goes against your manuel. Only you know your car seat guidelines – they are there because that is the way YOUR seat is to be used in the safest way.

  • Nene March 15, 2014, 6:44 pm

    Great reminder. I just feel bad for the parent whose picture was taken. Even if her backside is only showing. I think it’s great to talk about these things, but to post someones picture without them knowing is not a very nice way to help share a message. You can share a message and a story without sharing someones picture. I know you meant no harm. Just wanted to share my opinion.

  • simplybecky March 16, 2014, 6:28 am

    It floors me that people would even argue with you about this one. Why would any parent be willing to risk their precious baby’s life because this way is more convenient is beyond me. There are so many reasons this is dangerous:

    1) Just because you hear a “click” when you put the seat on the cart doesn’t mean it locked in and safe. To the person who said their seat is designed to latch on, I highly doubt this is true for several reasons: not all carts are designed the same, so how could the manufacturer account for every situation in testing? They just can’t. Your child’s safety seat should never be used in a way that wasn’t tested by the manufacturer (or was tested and was deemed unsafe). You are using your baby as a test dummy, and that’s never a good thing.

    2) This does indeed damage the locking mechanism in the seat so that it can’t safely be used in the base anymore. This means that mechanism can fail in a crash and dislodge the seat, rather than keeping it safely on place the way it was designed to. This goes for “locking” the seat onto anything other than its intended base… so please stop using to on overturned high chairs at restaurants.

    3) This throws off the center of gravity in the cart, which makes it that much more likely that the thing will topple over, especially when you hit something like a pothole in the parking lot, but sometimes even when you hit nothing at all. It’s just not safe, which means jerry-rigging it with the seatbelt somehow just doesn’t make it safe either.

    I’m sure there are more reasons than these three, but one reason should be enough not to do it. And if you look at the cart, many of them have this information printed on the flap the sits in the seat portion of the cart.

    Honestly, the most convenient way to shop with a baby is to wear them. They aren’t in the cart, they’re safely attached to you, which also means if you have to walk away from the cart for any reason, even for just a minute, you don’t have to worry about losing track of your baby. And in a baby-wearing carrier, they’re likely to fall asleep listening to the sound of your heartbeat.

    But seriously, please don’t ever do something like this just because it’s convenient. It can cause your baby serious harm or even death. How inconvenient would that be? Every parent who ever buys a safety seat for their child needs to read the manual… this stuff is all in there, I promise.

    Oh, and to the person that said what happened to the blogger must have been a freak accident, a lot of other freak accidents are listed in the comments section alone. How much of a freak accident could this have been?

    Okay, stepping off my soapbox now…

  • Ashley March 16, 2014, 8:35 am

    I completely disagree with most of you who choose to leave a child in a car seat to begin with. I am not saying you are wrong or bad parents but a newborn or baby under 6 months does not have the skeleton structure to be in a car seat for a extended period of time unless they are in a car. A stroller that they can lay flat in or a baby carrier are much safer options for their development of their structure. There is a reason up until lately when parents have become a custom to not removing a child from their infant seat was that even an option or considered safe. Child can die or be permanently damaged internally. I am a mom of 2 and have never pit either of my children in a car seat other than when in a moving vehicle.

  • Kat March 16, 2014, 9:17 am

    Thank you for sharing! I had a similar incident with a car seat and wooden high chair. I wish I would have used common sense. I was going to eat at a restaurant with a friend and my ten month old, he was sleeping and I didn’t want to wake him. I asked for a sling, the hostess didn’t have any so she suggested turning the high chair over. I’ve see this done hundreds of times, this is what caused me to ignore by own instinct. Within 5 minutes of him place on the bottom of the chair the whole thing toppled backwards. The car seat hit the floor hard. He cried but was fine. It was just a scary moment for both of us.

  • britt March 16, 2014, 10:50 am

    I would like to add to be careful the way you put the carrier inside the buggy I put my son in the basket with his head towards the upper seat with my four year old in the seat and my babies carrier slid to the seat and all of the sudden he started screaming I noticed the top seat had small bars from the bottom of the seat that were pressing into his forehead. The indentations it left were horrifying to see they went away after an hour but left bruises my son had a doctors appointment that day and the doctor checked him out and said he would be okay but after that I made sure he was always faced the other way

  • Clay Greenland March 16, 2014, 3:46 pm

    I had a very similar experience. My son was not in a car seat but was standing in the basket part of the cart. When we were leaving, as I was pushing the cart out to the car, we hit a little pot hole as well. He went flying head first over the edge of the basket and went head first into the pavement. It all happened in slow motion and I felt like no matter how fast I moved, he was just out of reach from me. It was the most sickening feeling in the world. He was very blessed and nothing more than a bump came from it, but I should have had him in the correct spot in the cart and none of this would have happened. I hope nothing like this happens to anyone ever.

  • August March 16, 2014, 8:59 pm

    If you put the baby carrier in the main part of the basket, where do you put the groceries needed for a family of eight? Just wondering. If you are shopping alone with you and baby, how are you supposed to push a stroller and a grocery cart? Maybe they should make grocery carts and baby carriers compatible.

  • Gina March 16, 2014, 10:24 pm

    @HeatherCook your comment regarding always driving with the handle on the carrier down is not always correct. It depends on which carrier you have. For my first baby we had a Baby Trend car seat where year while driving the handle had to be in the down position but with our 2nd baby her car seat carrier is a Graco snug ride and the manual says to have the handle in the full upright position.
    So please read the manual for your car seats and follow all of its safety and usage instructions.

  • Kat March 17, 2014, 12:12 am

    I’ve never done this before or personally seen it but I know it is not safe but it does have the appeal of convenience. I know that the carts at most places actually have a warning against this practice on the plastic part of the seat. Personally I find wearing my baby in a woven wrap is much easier & leaves me with a whole cart of room.

  • Diana March 17, 2014, 3:34 am

    I am sorry you went through this…

    To those that say I do whatever, you are breaking the manufacturer’s recommendations and the cart that specifically has the picture to not put the child in the top of the cart. See that image to the far right side of the car seat where it has a circle with a line through it saying NOT to do it.

    If your child happens to get hurt in the car seat, the store is NOT responsible for you being an ignorant parent and will not be expected to pay any bills.

  • Jean March 17, 2014, 8:22 am

    I can see where you are coming from with the car seats not being made to lock onto the buggy seat BUT do you think that maybe you shouldn’t have been in a hurry? I know it must have been traumatic for you and I am very sorry. I have 2 children and have used the buggy seat for their car seat as infants but when I went to the store I took my time. I know how frustrating it can be with little ones but when you become a parent you have to be patient. I’m just saying for the rest of us moms who use the buggy seat the way you don’t want us to… well we are being more careful and safe than you were that day. I do all that I can to put my kids safety first. So don’t assume that other moms aren’t being safe just because of your incident that you had. That’s not fare.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 17, 2014, 8:55 am


    If you put the baby carrier in the main part of the basket, where do you put the groceries needed for a family of eight? Just wondering. If you are shopping alone with you and baby, how are you supposed to push a stroller and a grocery cart? Maybe they should make grocery carts and baby carriers compatible.

    August, when this incident happened, I had a family of seven. When I had my last baby three years later, I had a family of eight. Yes, it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. Check back in the comments. There are a lot of good suggestions. 🙂


    …BUT do you think that maybe you shouldn’t have been in a hurry?

    Here’s the problem with that theory. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being in a hurry. (Really? Moms should never be in a hurry?) There IS something inherently wrong with using a car seat in an inappropriate and unsafe way.

    I’m just saying for the rest of us moms who use the buggy seat the way you don’t want us to… well we are being more careful and safe than you were that day. I do all that I can to put my kids safety first. So don’t assume that other moms aren’t being safe just because of your incident that you had. That’s not fare.

    The problem with this idea is that there IS no “safe” way to do this, so if you’re doing it anyway, contrary to fact, manufacture information, and the laws of physics, you aren’t being safe. If you truly put “safety first” you simply won’t do it, given that you have the information. Doing ” all you can to put [your] kids [sic] safety first” would mean that you adapt when you find out new, factual information.

    Many years ago I participated in a safety demonstration. It used a car that simulated a fender bender at the speed of 15 miles per hour. I watched hundreds of people get in this car frame and hold onto a baby doll. Every participant KNEW exactly how the simulation worked, because they’d seen it dozens of times while waiting in line.

    The object of the exercise was for each person to try their best to hold onto the doll. Again, please understand, everyone had seen the “car crash” dozens of times. They KNEW it was going to happen, they KNEW the timing when it would happen, they had WITNESSED it multiple times.

    Not one single person could hold onto the doll. Not one. Every single time, the doll flew forward into the windshield.

    In a wheeled grocery cart with a very top heavy item anything that skews the weight sufficiently will tip the cart. Your version of “being more careful” won’t change that. In fact, even if you KNEW it was going to happen at a particular instant (which you won’t) you won’t be able to avert disaster.

    This kind of skewing can happen with a small pothole (as in my case) a sidewalk crack or unevenness, a depressed tile, something spilled or dropped, etc.

    My daughter had dance classes in a room where the dance flooring has a slight (maybe 1/4″ depression in one spot. In spite of the fact that everyone KNEW it was there, someone fell every day until they fixed it. The slight difference threw even the most talented dancers off balance.

    Most cities have very strict building codes, some of which having to due with leveling and stair heights. A stair rise difference of only 1/4″ from the other stairs will, statistically, trip up most people. (Have you ever walked up or down stairs and either thought there was one more or one less than there was? The jarring from the unexpected is the issue.)

    Of course you can do what you want. But I am intentionally being straight forward in hopes that you will rethink the risk you are putting you baby in. Doing some of the things people have said in the comments (like never taking their eyes off their babies or keeping a hand on the seat at all time) simply won’t change the outcome.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On IceMy Profile

  • Zaida March 17, 2014, 11:28 am

    This is the reason everything needs a friggen warning label..a car seat is not intended to be used on a grocery cart..

  • Curious March 17, 2014, 12:07 pm

    I’ve heard about this and seen videos, but I have a quick question about doing it – my child SCREAMS every time I “wear” her. I’ve tried 2 different kind of wraps and a Bjorn and K’tan (two different sizes because I was told I had the wrong size). We both end up drenched in sweat and tears. What are your suggestions? I can only go to the grocery store once a week (and sometimes once every 2 weeks) and I have 2 pre-teen boys that eat me out of house and home (4 gallons of milk a week, 2 dozen eggs, etc. etc.). I don’t “click” the carrier as mine does not have that feature (my older boys’ carrier did), but I always keep my hand on the carrier while the cart is moving. How do you put all of the groceries you need in the cart? I’ve even tried with 2 carts and pulling the one for groceries behind me and the baby in the cart of the other one. That usually is only feasible if one of the boys is with me so they can push one of the carts. I have to go when the store is the most busy (weekends, after 5:00, etc.) because I work full time too so to try and navigate 2 carts by myself is cumbersome, disruptive to other shoppers, and time consuming. I’ve tried the sideways placement like mentioned above and couldn’t get everything in. Yes, we buy and eat A LOT of food.

    I am open to suggestions on how to put the carrier in the cart as wearing her is not an option (you can hear her from the other side of the store). As soon as she can sit, she will be in that area of the cart in a cart cover. Unfortunately, she’s not old enough yet to sit up on her own. Thoughts?

  • carboncopy March 17, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Jean, I think you don’t understand what safety really means or statistics. I know people who’ve driven all their lives without seat belts and never been in an accident. I guess they just needed to keep their hand on the dashboard.

    Like simplybecky said, “It floors me that people would even argue with you about this one.”

    Good luck to you and your safety methods.

  • carboncopy March 17, 2014, 3:10 pm

    I should have said “safety” methods. Keep putting your hand on the cart! (Which I’m SURE you do the ENTIRE time. Yea.

  • simplybecky March 17, 2014, 3:18 pm

    Cindi, how does something like “Safe Dock” address the center of gravity issue for the cart? I’m genuinely curious. Also, are you affilliated with the maker of the product, or just passing along info?

  • Jean March 17, 2014, 2:21 pm

    I don’t want to argue with you but I feel that it is wrong to blame the car seat for the accident. Watching your child or keeping your hand on the car seat can help. Obviously it has. For instance my children are toddlers now and I never had a problem with my car seat. By the way when they were infants I had never heard of anyone having a problem with putting car seats on the buggy seat. So to say that I don’t put my child’s safety first is wrong.

  • Shannon March 17, 2014, 3:36 pm

    This issue illustrates a necessity. A versatile baby seat that can be safely used on shopping carts could be a revolutionary new invention.

  • cindi March 17, 2014, 2:53 pm

    According the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 16,000 children are injured every year from falls from shopping carts. 5% of these falls involve infants. Some parents realize this is a danger, but many don’t.

    Safe-Strap has been providing shopping cart seat belts to retailers for decades. Recently they launched a new product called Safe-Dock: the infant carrier docking station. This device is permanently attached to the shopping cart. You put your carrier in the Safe-Dock, buckle the restraint and your infant is secured. This also leaves plenty of room in the basket. To find out more information about Safe-Dock check it out at http://safestrap.com/index.php/products/safe-dock/. If your store does not have Safe-Dock, you can go to http://www.shoppingcartsafety.com to submit your store. They can get word to your store manager that you want Safe-Dock.

  • Kadie Rehall March 17, 2014, 6:07 pm

    As someone who is pregnant with their first child, I think this is wonderful information. The only things I know about baby safety is what I have read in books and on the net. I probably would have done this because I saw someone else doing it with no thoughts of how dangerous it could be. I love learning new things that relate too the life I will soon be living! Thank you very much!

  • Amy Gordon March 17, 2014, 6:29 pm

    I had this happen to my baby girl at Walmart. She is almost 5. I can’t remember how old she was when it happened. But she was still small enough to be in the Baby carrier. Her brother was about 10. I had her carrier on the buggy in the seat. Her brother was trying to climb in the cart. We had Amber just sitting in the carrier. She was not buckled in. The whole seat flipped over and she landed in the cart. It’s been so long ago now but I remember being scared to death. Thank God she didn’t get hurt. But she could have. I few years after this happened I saw a young couple with a newborn doing the same thing. I shared my story and they Thanked me and put their baby into the cart. If we don’t share our experiences what kind of person would I be.

  • Cherish March 17, 2014, 6:49 pm

    cindi, kind of over the top with the self-promotion, don’t you think?

  • Bernadette C March 17, 2014, 8:38 pm

    Ill admit I have done this. Granted it was a long time ago now, my oldest 2 are 12 and 13 now and I know I did this with them but I did always keep my hand on the seat while the cart was moving, not that it would have maybe done much if the cart had tipped. Or I would put the cart in the back. I see carseats all the time on the top. Luckily I never had any accidents with that and luckily your son was ok.

  • stupid March 17, 2014, 9:42 pm

    if people weren’t retarded they would know to be careful. you know if something is strapped to the cart or not you know if it has a potential of falling or not. dont be stupid use your head go slow

  • rebecca h. March 18, 2014, 4:46 am

    I only did this once. I have severe anxiety when my kids are babies and I had the worse images going through my mind. You can tell that this is not safe just by looking at it. This also goes to flipping highchairs over at a restaurant to put the carrier in top. Think about it: small base in the floor, the big car seat in top, and people walking by hoping they don’t knock it over. We wear the baby at the grocery store and always ask for a booth at the restaurant.

  • Peyton March 18, 2014, 5:52 am

    When it comes to having children we do many things that can be considered unsafe. It is all about making judgement calls. I place my car seat on the cart seat, and it doesn’t latch. Regardless of your story I will still do it. It is my call, and mine alone. There will always be a story of something happening to someone. But it will never happen to everyone.

    Will it happen to me? Maybe. And what will I do with the seat of it does happen? Put it in the cart seat again. Cause honestly, having a car seat anywhere on or in the cart isn’t safe. You can put it in the basket, but that cart can still flip, a bump can be hit and your stuff can bump up onto baby.

    What I am saying is things will never be safe, no matter what you do, something can always go wrong. Even if you are following manufacture guidelines.

    So as parents we need to analyze advice, opinions and recommendations and make our own decisions. For me, putting a car seat anywhere in or on a cart is jot safe, but when I choose to do it I will put it on the seat piece.

  • Nicole March 18, 2014, 7:54 am

    Thank you for writing this and sending this around. I as a mother of two have put a car seat on that same spot and noticed with both seats that even of ot locked they still slid and from that first point of awareness I have literally pushed one cart for groceries and another with the seat in the back of the cart. It may look silly to other mothers and people around me that don’t understand but I’m always waiting for someone to ask me why I’m doing that when it’s so much easier on too and having one cart. I don’t mind pulling the baby in a cart behind me with one hand and pushing another cart in front even if it takes way more time to do it that way either. I as a military spouse give my word that I will share this with others and spread this around on my personal website even. Thank you and God Bless~ military spouse of 8 years going and mother of two beautiful little girls

  • Tiffany Vernon March 18, 2014, 8:26 am

    Thank you for writing this. I never know what to say to someone when I see this happening. Now I will show them this article!!!!

  • Beth March 18, 2014, 9:01 am

    Maybe you should have waited to put your child in the cart once you were IN the store. Carts are not made for rough “parking lot” terrain. Instead of banning car seats from shopping carts (which is the pretty much the only way to shop with more than one child) just be aware of your surroundings.

  • Tina March 18, 2014, 9:10 am

    I would think if shopping cart makers do not recommend it that they would redesign the cart and remove the “seat” to stop this. There has to be a way to keep the spot for the child but not be able to use it as a car seat holder. Like the carts at Lowe’s and such with the built in true seats and straps. I did not know this was not safe. Have done it a couple of times in the past. Will pass the info on as I am sure most parents are not aware it is unsafe.

  • Just stayn March 18, 2014, 9:20 am

    Just adding my two cents! I have seen this happen……..luckily not to my children or grandchildren, but when I worked at Walmart. A young mother was pushing her baby out to the car with baby on top when some idiot come flying around the parking lot to fast to stop. Needless to say they tried to stop but bumped the cart just hard enough to send this sweet baby flying! He skidded up under someone else’s truck and of course the mother was beside herself! We called 911 and had the baby checked out as he was screaming and frightened! All were fine other than the terrifying ordeal! Thank you for sharing!!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 9:44 am

    Beth, actually I did wait until I got in the store to put it on the cart. Read the story.

    And, no, it’s not remotely the only way to shop with more than one child. Read the comments. There are many safe alternatives. I had another son in 2003, too, and our family actually still ate food (and I shopped for it) without ever again engaging in this dangerous practice.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth MotherMy Profile

  • Dick March 18, 2014, 11:11 am

    Like most of these Facebook stories, this one is made up. Just how fast were you flying through the parking lot and how deep was the crater, that when the seat flew over the length of shopping cart, hit the pavement, bounces off the road and continued summersaulting? The law of physics were certainly one for the record books that fateful day..

  • Jamie March 18, 2014, 12:35 pm

    I guess in a way I was lucky. My baby’s car seat didn’t fit even remotely in the seat area of the cart. So the first few times we tried shopping that way, we set her seat in the cart. We live in a fairly rural town, so everyone kind of knows/recognizes everyone else. Lots of retired folks who miss their grandkids. So everyone wanted to touch my daughter. To deal with both situations, I got an ergo carrier (tried the Moby wrap but it worked better for other settings for us) and that is where she was when we shopped until she was big enough for the seated area (with a cart cover). Call me paranoid or whatever, but I didn’t want everyone’s hands on her face and hands, didn’t want her car seat tumbling. I take my responsibility of her safety seriously. I think it’s wonderful for you to give people the information and then they can do with it as they see fit. You shouldn’t have to defend yourself to those who disagree. They can disagree and then we can all go about our day.

  • Barkleee March 18, 2014, 1:02 pm

    hahahah Had to laugh at Dick. (Appropriately named, if you’ll allow me to join him on the junior high playground.) We have just learned that:

    1) Dick has never pushed a shopping cart
    2) Never carried a baby
    3) Never carried ANYTHING at all
    4) Never pushed a stroller that hit an uneven area of the sidewalk
    5) Never seen a baby carrier
    6) Never danced

    Dick, you need to get off Facebook and get some actual experience with gravity. Good luck!

  • Pamela March 18, 2014, 1:14 pm

    I’m a relatively new mother (I have a 4 month old). The first time I went shopping with my baby, I tried to put her car seat in the cart seat, but it wouldn’t fit. I was jealous of other moms who had put their babies there (I saw 3 just at the front of the store). I ended up putting her car seat across the buggy where the head and feet ends were just slightly over each side of the cart. I was able to fill my buggy with groceries, but I was terrified the entire time. It didn’t feel safe to me. I felt that if I took one wrong turn, her seat would go crashing to the floor. I decided to do a little research to see how I was supposed to fit by baby in the cart seat and found out that there was no safe way to put her car seat in the cart seat. Car seat manuals and shopping carts both say not to do it. After that, I decided I would put her seat inside the buggy. Obviously, there was little room for groceries so I ended up making multiple trips to the store to get everything I needed. I wasn’t a fan of that, so I decided to no longer bring her seat in. At first, I would stuff the cart seat area with the cushiony cart seat cover I got at her shower, and lay her in the seat area. Once she got too big to be comfortable like that, I sat her up like a “big girl” in the cart seat. I still cushion her with the cart seat cover and strap her in tight with the seat belt so she can’t fall forward. She can’t sit up on her own yet, so I put my diaper bag on one side of her and tilt her slightly in that direction so that she doesn’t fall over. She enjoys getting to see me and looking at other people, and I always keep my hands close so that I can catch her if she starts to fall. It may not be the easiest way, but I feel it is safer.

    By the way, this post was meant to inform parents/grandparents/whoever that placing a car seat in the cart seat is not safe, no matter how careful you are. It was not meant to be an attack on those who do it. Many of you seem to take it as a personal attack (“you’re being rude”, “I’m careful, you weren’t”, “it’s none of your business”, “bad things always happen, that doesn’t mean it’s not safe”, etc.). But the fact of the matter is, every shopping cart and every car seat manual tell you not to do it. So when you do, you’re sacrificing your baby’s safety for your own convenience, and you can argue all you want but that’s the truth. If it were more convenient to put your baby anywhere else, you would.

  • trawhysee March 18, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I read this on another blog a few years back, when my son was still an infant, and I chose to take it into consideration when I didn’t have to fill up the cart. My mantra has always been “whatever works.” It’s hard enough being a parent without having someone hand you a piece of paper that basically insinuates you are a bad parent for doing what works best for you. I’ve hit many bumps along the parking lot, and my child nor a car seat have flown from the cart because I keep my arm/hand over the seat or my child. I protect my child the best I know how, and that’s all any parent can really do.
    I’m not bashing you or your article (it is a good tip, for sure). I’m just saying that everything doesn’t have to be one way to work for everyone. No need to make someone feel bad because they choose to do something differently.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 12:39 pm

    Dick, you’re an idiot. And, no, you don’t know the laws of physics. Even the obvious ones that occur in everyday life walking around a house.

    I challenge you to put a baby seat on a cart seat section, strap, say, a 25 pound bag of flour into it, and walk quickly through a pothole. Please record it and post it on YouTube.

    And, for the record, this isn’t a “Facebook story.” This is a blog and it’s my story, with my real name, real location, and real child.

    Get a clue.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Top 10 Things More Fun Than Watching SOTUMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Pamela, thank you so much for your comment!

    Yes, yes, yes. I’m not surprised that some people don’t want the inconvenience this knowledge brings (I didn’t, either!) but I’m baffled when people get defensive and see this as at attack. Do they not notice that I did this myself? I learned the hard way and almost learned a tragic way.

    Thank you for your ideas and tips! I’m sure it will help others! 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Best Toys RoundupMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 1:50 pm

    trawhysee, it’s a lot harder to be a parent with a kid in the hospital — or worse — than have someone give you a piece of paper with info you might not have known.

    This same boy that was in this carrier is now 13 years old and almost as tall as I am. Two years ago his appendix ruptured the day before Easter. (He has a very high pain tolerance and did not even complain (in fact, was in the backyard playing soccer) until after it ruptured.) He was in PICU for nearly a month total (home once for three days and back for additional surgery for bowel obstruction from the scar tissue) and was gravely ill. (Dick, if you’d like me to document this with the doctor’s name and medical charts, just let me know. :P)

    Even though I did not contribute in any way to his hospitalization, it was extremely difficult and traumatic on all counts. I would not wish it on any parent. I can only imagine how parents feel when they do contribute to something so serious, like the woman in the link.

    Life has risks and putting kids in bubbles isn’t the answer. But this is such an obvious and easy way to protect a child, that I think it’s worth addressing. In spite of Dick’s non-scientific claims, the laws of physics on this are obvious once you realize that these seats do not really attach to the cart. The are not only precariously perched atop the cart, but make the entire unit very top heavy and much easier to tip.

    If you think the article actually insinuates bad parenting, then first of all it insinuates the same about me. (In other words, I don’t think that’s an accurate claim.)

    For the record, the idea that some parents prop the carriers up this way and also keep one hand firmly grasping the carrier the entire shopping trip is, sorry, just bogus. Watch yourself next time. It does not happen. (And, per some comments above, even doing this doesn’t prevent all accidents any more than holding a baby firmly in a car does.)
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Ethics of Business on Thanksgiving (and/or Other Holidays You Like)My Profile

  • Sam March 18, 2014, 3:51 pm

    Well to your early comment of course if you walk quickly through a pot hole the car seat will fall off and in my opinion it was your stupidity to walk through it fast you should have slowed down and looked where you where walking i guarantee if you would have slowed down you could have went around it and avoid it but you were being ignorant and in a rush

  • Iwalaninichols March 18, 2014, 4:17 pm

    I am part of a babywearing group, and when my son was about 6 months old, one of the other moms posted a YouTube video of a car seat resting like this, and the part of the cart that swings up to allow for other carts to go underneath was bumped while the person was pushing it. The seat of the cart collapsed pushing the (empty for the purpose of demonstrating) car seat up and it toppled upside down into the cart. I was terrified. I babysit and the kid that I watch always pushes that thing. I always either put the seat inside the cart after that or I wore the baby in a carrier. There is no harm in sharing your story in hopes of blessing another momma. Also thank you for showing some alternatives to give mommas more options.

  • Sam March 18, 2014, 4:22 pm

    It could have been prevented yes but it wasn’t and it had nothing to do with where it was it had to do with the person driving the cart

  • Charlie March 18, 2014, 4:26 pm

    Dick and Sam, you aren’t representing our sex well. Stop being jerks.

    Allison, as a father of two, I thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes it’s hard to tell about these experiences, but I’m glad you were willing in order to help others. My wife and I are changing our habits because of what you’ve written and the research we did after reading. You are right. This isn’t a safe practice, no matter how “careful” you are..

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 3:57 pm

    Sam, grammar.

    Yes, it’s true, if I had not walked as quickly and if I had looked more closely it would not have happened. And if I’d stayed home it wouldn’t have happened. And if there was no such thing as children it would not have happened. And if there wasn’t pavement it would not have happened.

    But if I hadn’t put the car seat in a position that was inherently dangerous, it wouldn’t have happened, either. Which is the point.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Argumentum Ad Hominem – Logical FallacyMy Profile

  • Thressa March 18, 2014, 5:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing! I’ve never had this happen to me but I did this with my son all the time! Thank goodness this never happened but I never thought about it before! Thank you for shedding light on this subject. I WILL NOT ever do this again. Thank you for looking out for our babies 🙂

  • Kayleigh March 18, 2014, 5:55 pm

    This happened to me also, and Like you, God had placed the carrier bar locked above my sons body, we hit a bump and he flipped right out upside down, and the carrier bar hit the pavement hard, baby unharmed. angels were definitely watching him =] -after this I used a moby baby carrier for shopping trips

  • Happened to me! March 18, 2014, 6:18 pm

    I was shopping with my 2 week old foster baby, 7 month old daughter and 16 month old foster son. Baby was in his carrier and was pushed off the shopping cart by my 16 month old. I wasn’t a foot away when I heard a crash and turned to see the car seat was upside down on the floor…no handle to soften the fall! Thankfully, since he was so small all he had was an abrasion the size of a quarter on his forehead that disappeared in 24 hrs and not even a goose egg…SCARY!!! Now I take fewer kids, put his seat inside the basket and shop more frequently. After this occurrence someone informed me that you’re not supposed to put carriers up top…I had never heard that, EVER…wish I would have, thank you for your bravery in putting this out there!

  • Sarah March 18, 2014, 6:24 pm

    I am truly amazed at some of the comments on here. None of us as patents are perfect! We all want what is best and is safe for our child. Take the advice from someone else that had had the experience or don’t but don’t attack and say cruel things because you now feel guilty and need to justify your actions. Grow up and be the adult and make adjustments in your life for the safety of your child. If you chose not to head the warnings of manufactures and parents with experience that is your choice and I pray you never have to feel the guilt of knowing the danger and choosing to do nothing about it.

  • Mackenzie March 18, 2014, 7:39 pm

    I am sitting here reading some of these comments in amazement. Sure, you can try to justify the safety and convenience of it while it is on the cart, but what about the fact that it lessens the ability of the carseat in the car? We buy carseats to protect our children IN the car. I hope you would never drive off with your baby not strapped in or with a damaged strap or anything else, so why are you perfectly fine putting your child in the car with a potentially damaged latch? I have 2 children and yes, I did this with both, but I had no idea it could affect the way the carseat would function in an accident! If I had known that, I never would have done it. Sure, you can try to justify the safety of putting a carseat in the cart, but to me that isn’t the BIG safety concern here. The big safety concern is the potential for the carseat to fail in an accident.

  • Tina March 18, 2014, 8:54 pm

    IMO the infant carriers (strapped to mom – or dad) are the best option. Baby stays close mom and then there is LOTS of room in the cart!! What a concept. I always wondered where one was going to put all the groceries if the cart was taken up by the car seat! Car seats are for CARS – leave it in there and CARRY your baby – they will be happier and content because they have mom to keep them warm and safe.

  • Frannie March 18, 2014, 8:56 pm

    Been there! I had my 5 month old on the carrier on top & the 3 year old in the buggy, the three year old stood up and leaned over the cart causing it to tip over while I was getting groceries in the car.. Scariest moment of my life.. Baby was fine, 3 year old had a bump on his head but otherwise unharmed.. I hope this message gets to many more moms!!! It’s so dangerous!

  • Ashley Young March 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Wow as a mother of a 3 year old with another on the way, I cant tell you how much I appreciate this post! Thank you so much for sharing. When this new one arrives I will be sure not to ever do that again.

  • Mike March 18, 2014, 9:32 pm

    Isn’t that also from not paying attention of where you’re going? I understand it’s tough but with a baby you should also be more careful. And older children if raised properly they should know not to climb around or act like little hoodlums. Thats partially what’s wrong with the children today. No disapline or selfcontrol because its against the law to spank your child’s rear end which now is making children twice as bad. I’ve seen one child slap his own mother and sain f no. Do you see my point?

  • Laura March 18, 2014, 9:45 pm

    Our local Safeway actually has carts with an infant seat bolted to the top (where the seat is), so you could put a baby safely in the top. We have twins and usually just baby-wore before they were old enough to be in the seats, or one parent pushed the stroller while the other pushed the cart. Honestly, it seems ridiculous to me that people are complaining that propping the seat up is the only convenient option. As a parent of twins, keeping the babies in their carriers wasn’t ever something I thought of as an option. There’s also grocery delivery. If it’s that hard to get to the store, save yourself the trouble and have them delivered.

  • Ashley March 18, 2014, 10:29 pm

    So what you all are saying is that we shouldn’t hit pot holes or big bumps with our infant balancing on a cart…? Yep, sounds pretty self explanatory to me! I have taken all of my kids grocery shopping in their infant seats, but when I saw a bump I went around it, slowly…..seems quite obvious to me…

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 9:39 pm

    Mike, you realize, that any time any accident happens on the face of the earth it could be prevented by doing something differently, right? That’s what the word “accident” means. It’s not like cancer or a tornado or an alien invasion.

    The point of the post, again, is that car seats are not meant to be placed atop a grocery cart. They do not lock on — even though they seem to. They make the cart top heavy. They are not safe.

    As for the rest of your comment, I have no idea how that relates to the post. So, no, I don’t see your point.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding DiscountMy Profile

  • Candies March 18, 2014, 10:40 pm

    I’m super glad that Ashley has never tripped or slipped or fallen in her entire life and that every time anything has ever been in front of her cart (with the car seat high on top of it, too) she ALWAYS saw it long before she got to it.

    If only we all had magical powers like Magical Ashley we wouldn’t even have to pay attention to dumb things like HOW STUFF WORKS and PHYSICS.

    Wow, I’m still trying to figure out my super power. Oh yea, it’s CALLING OUT BULLSHIT.

  • Melanie March 18, 2014, 10:44 pm

    I actually worked at Wal-Mart and unfortunately the seat of the carts are now malfunctioning.. one day there was a kid in the cart and one in the seat. The seat bars broke and collasped and flung one kid and trapped the other one in the cart..

  • Tracy March 18, 2014, 11:21 pm

    I am shocked by many of these comments! The people who have negative things to say obviously aren’t reading ALL if the reasons this is a dangerous idea. If you are lucky enough to not have your car seat topple from the carriage, great! But what about when you secure it in the base that is in your car and you happen to get into an accident? There is a chance the locking mechanism won’t be working properly because the cart has damaged it. Then what? You blame the car seat company for making faulty equipment? Just 1 reason it is dangerous would be enough for me. Why wouldn’t you do whatever you can (within reason. Obviously you can’t sit in a bubble) to keep your children safe? Would you put your car seat in the car without securing it knowing that could hurt your baby if you got into an accident? I would hope not. Kind of the same idea here! Use your head

  • Alison Moore Smith March 18, 2014, 10:31 pm

    No, Ashley. What I’m saying is that car seat carriers are not designed to attach to grocery carts and they given that they make the entire unit top heavy and do not securely attach and doing so can damage the seat mechanism for use in the car, and therefore it’s not a safe practice.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Argumentum Ad Hominem – Logical FallacyMy Profile

  • Reagan March 18, 2014, 11:47 pm

    On alot of car seats now is red clips, these clips, clip around the seat and hold it in tight. i love it and have no problem with bump or holes wont budge a inch.

  • Karin March 19, 2014, 1:04 am

    Recently, at a Home Depot somewhere, a young baby was knocked off of the top of a cart while Dad was checking out. An employee dove in and caught the child and it was caught on security camera. A quick Google search can confirm this.

  • Denise March 19, 2014, 12:04 am

    Alison I’m glad you shared your story I am a grandma of my first grandchild and have been guilty of doing this with my own children and my grandchild will definitely not be caught doing this again but I do work at a grocery store and wonder where I might get some informative flyers to maybe give to the parents that do this who may or may not know of the dangers.

  • Haley March 19, 2014, 2:06 am

    Im a mother to three boys and my oldest is the only one I used a traditional carseat with i too use to put it on top of the cart but luckily something inside me never liked it so i would hold on to it and go really slow over any bumps i could see but a pot hole is very sneeky and because i was holding on it kept the carseat from moving all over and trying to get away so with my others I used a convertible car seat from infant to toddler and I carried them when going anywhere with my second i would make a bed out of the seat with blankets and the cart cover my third i use a carrier because my second son sits in the seat part also much easier to hold and feed that way

  • Elizabeth March 19, 2014, 3:34 am

    I have a 2 month old son and have seen enough of these articles that no matter how ‘careful’ I am, I will not do something I can avoid knowing it isn’t safe! I am lucky because my husband works from home some so I just plan my grocery trips around him being home. If I am just running out for a few things, I use our stroller and carry a basket or baby wear.

    I have quickly learned that some things must be done for survival but our local grocery has carts with baby seats for this very reason! Good luck to the all the parents especially the ones who continue to do things they know are unsafe.

  • Sarah R. March 19, 2014, 6:48 am

    I remember trying to put my little one’s car seat in the shopping cart and the store I go to had a sign on the seat part of the shopping cart with a big “NO” sign for baby carriers. Ever since then I always put the seat inside the cart. Didn’t leave much room for groceries but we worked around it. I see it done so much though. I may start telling these moms to please refrain from doing it, for the safety of the child.

  • Brooke Christian March 19, 2014, 6:57 am

    I just want to day Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure some mothers such as I really appreciate it. And also to the people leaving other comments not agreeing with this do you not realize how rude and stupid you sound. This mother is trying to help she is not being rude, she isn’t saying how we have to do it this way she is giving us her story, it is our decision as parents to as we please in parenting choices. Some people need to work on their manners.

  • Yvonne March 19, 2014, 6:58 am

    IT has been many years since I had a baby in a carrier. I am appalled at the ignorance of the men that recently commented (Dick and Sam, not the sensible Charlie).
    I DO NOT CARE who would think I was rude in pointing out this information to anyone, if it would save a child from being hurt or killed. I am sure that the person that thought I was being rude in passing on important information, would prefer having a rude person say something to them, as opposed to burying their child or life long care giving because their child fell out and suffered brain damage. Thanks for passing on this vital information.

  • Tara Harkins March 19, 2014, 7:28 am

    I used to do this all the time, a store employee showed me how with my first baby. I never thought to question it. I had a scare with my second and stopped doing it. I now put the Mommy Clip right onto my stroller, clip my reusable shopping bags on, and put my groceries right into the bags as I shop. I put heavy stuff under the stroller for balance. It won’t work for a huge shop, but does the job for a smaller shop.

  • Val W March 19, 2014, 7:32 am

    Thank you for giving me this info and for braving the storm of stupidity that always comes when people feel guilty.

    And people who think putting a hand on the carrier makes it safe are just foolish.

  • trawhysee March 19, 2014, 8:37 am

    Like I said, I was NOT bashing you or this article, and even said it is indeed a good tip. I was just pointing out the fact that you can, in fact, hold onto the car seat while you shop and push them through the parking lot. It’s not that difficult, really. If you actually read what I wrote, you would see that I said I keep a firm grip on it in the parking lot where there are actually bumps and holes, unlike the smooth aisles of a store where one is not in a derby-like race. I did not say I don’t take my hand away to grab an item off the shelf, while having the cart sits still, directly by my side.
    And anyone who thinks a child is safe while sitting in your lap in a car is an idiot. Plain and simple. However, just because the seat properly latches to the base doesn’t mean it can’t come loose and fly through a window during impact. I don’t wish harm on any child, but I’m also not walking around all high and mighty, trying to push my opinions on anyone. You stated your thoughts on the situation, the rest of us are just doing the same. It’s your blog to post what you want and say what you want, but don’t post on an open forum/blog if you don’t want to hear everyone’s opinion.

  • Brenda March 19, 2014, 7:47 am

    who would put a carseat on the top and not watch it. she was in too big of a hurry

  • Aubrianne March 19, 2014, 9:59 am

    Saw your article a few days ago, then this today! Thank you for sharing – as it changed my perspective. I will never do this again! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2040559/Baby-James-Anderson-Berg-dies-falling-shopping-cart-Macon.html

  • Tanya March 19, 2014, 10:13 am

    One thing that I think would be helpful is to stop calling infant car seats “carriers”. Baby carriers are made for carrying babies; car seats are made for the car! Yes, you can carry your baby in an infant car seat, but that is not their REAL purpose. When I had my second son, his car seat almost never left the car. I transferred him into a carrier, then back to the car seat. As well as being much safer, he was also happier, and I had my hands free AND the entire cart free for groceries! He also never got flat head or a bald spot on the back of his head, because he wasn’t on his back in a seat all the time.

    I don’t think that parents who do this are intentionally putting their child in danger. Most people just don’t know it’s unsafe! When I had my first son, I never felt comfortable doing it, but it wasn’t until years later that I actually started hearing about horrible accidents. Now I try to spread the word. I also run a babywearing group, and am happy to help parents find and use a carrier that works for them, so that they don’t have to choose between safety and getting all their shopping done! 🙂

  • Nana March 19, 2014, 10:22 am

    I just want to say thank you and to tell you how sorry I am for all the crap you have had to read from others who are being nasty about it. I am not going to tell you that I never did this. I raised kids in the world before car seats for kids was a law. They were just the baby carriers that we strapped into a car.

    But I do know the feelings that I had when a doctor told me when my daughter (who had just turned four) was diagnosed with a cyst on her brain, might be from the car accident that I was in when I was six months pregnant with her. I hit the wheel of the car with my stomach as in that time they didn’t have seat belts with chest halt ears and we were told not to wear a seatbelt when pg.

    Anyway I want you all to know that not one day goes by that I don’t wonder if I could have avoided that accident my daughter might not be suffering for the rest of her life. I can tell you what it is like to have a doctor tell you you can take your child home instead
    of her having surgery because she will most likely not live regardless. And if she does, she most likely will not even know your her mom. She will have to go through another surgery on an average of every two years for the rest of her life. This is not the way you want your family to have to live. She is here because of God’s Grace and nothing else. But the guilt of the what if’s can be very destructive.

    If I knew what I now know from your information, Alison, and didn’t learn from it, mad something happens to my grandkids now I would not know how to live with that for sure.

    My daughter and her two children were in a car accident last October. She had a new miracle baby and a three year old. No one was hurt thank God, but she had to get all new car seats for the kids. She was told that car seats for children are not safe after they have been in the littlest car accident. The straps as well as the latch that holds the seat in place has been compromised. She had to cut up the straps and turn it into the insurance and got new ones for them. If the latch gets damaged from just a fender bender like she was in wouldn’t you want to know your child’s seat is no safer if you hook it into a cart?

    You do what you can to protect your kids. But let’s heed the wise advise of others whenever we can. You really can’t say it won’t happen to you, no matter what you think, so don’t put your kids at risk in the first place. The fact is having a child born with no health issues is a miracle in the first place and there are going to accidents. Isn’t home or being with family suppose to be a safe place and don’t we owe it to our kids to make it so, instead of saying “Oh, that will never happen to me.

    Again, I thank you for this information and will make sure my daughter gets it. Every day of her pregnancy was a challenge and to do something so senseless from lack of knowledge would kill her.

    God Bless You, Alison. And again thanks.

  • Rachael March 19, 2014, 10:30 am

    I’m 5 ft nothing and Mother of 4. We use to always put the baby car seat attached this way and had to be the handle down, or else I couldn’t see over the seat. So I am very blessed, and never had an accident, but could totally see how it could happen. The more kids I had, the more that shopping cart seat was used for a toddler and I would just carry baby in my Baby Bjorne (and nurse, while being covered, him or her while I walked around because that was easiest for me). Thank you for your tips and wisdom from your experience. ! 🙂

  • Sara March 19, 2014, 10:52 am

    Thank you for posting this information! I always respect information/advice from other mommies and apply it as it works for our family. I’ve always thought in my gut that the car seat never attached properly to the shopping cart seats anyway, so good to know and pass along to others that it is a danger.

    For busy moms that need a way to get the shopping done without cutting into precious family time, I’d recommend Amazon Prime (no I do not work for them!). They have a free version called Amazon Mom where you get free shipping, and discounts of 20% on items you get sent to you on a regular basis. The prices end up being even cheaper than Costco/Wal-Mart, items are delivered right to my door, and you can set it up where they send every week/month/bi-monthly etc. No they do not have perishable grocery items (yet) but for the basics (toilet paper, diapers, cleaning supplies, snacks, etc) it is SUCH a time saver. Just something that works for me! 🙂

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 9:55 am

    Brenda, “she” was watching it. It was inches from my face. That’s the point. Car seats do NOT latch to grocery carts. Watching a car seat doesn’t change the mechanics.

    trawhysee, the truth is you cannot hold a car seat firmly enough to avoid some accidents of this kind — particularly while, apparently, trying to wield a top-heavy, loaded grocery cart with one hand.

    I’m happy to hear your opinion (and post it for publication) and just as happy to refute the parts I think are wrong. As you said yourself, “…don’t post on an open forum/blog if you don’t want to hear everyone’s opinion.” Cuts both ways.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding DiscountMy Profile

  • Robyn March 19, 2014, 11:32 am

    This happened to me as well but the car seat flipped back into the cart landing baby down… Rushed to the ER got head X-rays… Everything was fine she was just shooken up.. I will never put her up there again… 🙁

  • Ashley March 19, 2014, 11:42 am

    I understand what Lindsay is saying. I get that parents want to let other parent’s aware of dangers. But if you come up to me and I don’t ask your advice, I will tell you point blank thank you but don’t tell me how to parent my kids, I don’t even know you. If my kids or myself don’t know you, I’m sorry I don’t want your advice. This is a good article for every mother to read, but I wont tell a mother she’s a bad mom because she does this.

  • Lisa March 19, 2014, 11:54 am

    For those of you wondering how to shop with a baby who doesn’t like being worn, have you considered using the shopping carts (like at Walmart) that have a baby seat already attached to them? My youngest has never liked being worn, so even though it was less “convenient”, I’d take him out of his carseat and put him in the built in baby seat. That left the whole basket open for the groceries and kept him in a seat similar to his car seat (which left him happy). I know not all stores have carts like those, but if you found one that did, there is another option that doesn’t point to babywearing or putting a cart on the top part of a basket.

  • Curious March 19, 2014, 12:38 pm

    I don’t want to be that person but I do find it odd that you have this amazing story and on the exact same page, you just happen to sell the life saving solution along with other products.

    I am not saying that incidents don’t happen but something smells a little fishy when you combine this story (causing parental fear) with a sales pitch (that ends the newly created fear).

  • Tiana March 19, 2014, 12:59 pm

    How strange. I live in Canada and I have NEVER seen anyone do this.

  • Tawnya March 19, 2014, 1:02 pm

    I just wanna say thank you for sharing your story, as a mother of a newborn, I find this very helpful. I used to put my other two kids in the shopping cart like that. I’ve tried it before with my newborn, and I guess u could say luckily it hasn’t worked on any shopping carts, so I was forced to put him in the basket area of the cart. Maybe some manufacturers are making them now not to snap onto the cart now. Anyways, I will not try this ever again. And I would not find it rude if u approached me to educate me on a possible danger I’m putting my newborn in.

  • Kelli Wolfe March 19, 2014, 1:13 pm

    I remember doing this with both of my kids, thankfully without incident. Never thought twice about putting the car seat on the shopping cart just like you said. Now my oldest is about to have her first child in about a month and seeing your article scared me like you wouldn’t believe. I’m going to make sure my daughter sees this. I’m so sorry this happened to you and thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

  • Katrina March 19, 2014, 1:28 pm

    I don’t understand why this has happened to so many moms!? I have 3 kids and put the car seat on the shopping cart with all of them but would hold it when going through the parking lot so if I did hit something my baby I would not fall off. I would think anybody with any common sense would know to do this

  • Allison Goins March 19, 2014, 1:40 pm

    Thank you for this info!! I’m a first time, soon-to-be (ANYDAY NOW!!) mom and I really appreciate this info!!!!! 🙂 It may not happen to everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to make people aware that it COULD and to just be safe!! 🙂

  • MD_mom March 19, 2014, 1:41 pm

    It utterly boggles my mind that some of the commenters here felt the need to post. If you don’t agree, then move on. This isn’t a question of OPINION, it’s a question of FACT. Car seats are not intended to go on top of a shopping cart. Even when they are latched to the cart (in response to posters like the self-described “stupid” above), they can come unlatched easily. And unexpected events can happen at any time – the cart wheel can stick, throwing you/cart off balance; someone in the store can bump into the cart, the flooring in the store could be uneven. To presume that your are somehow omnipotent is ridiculous. However, if you choose to put your carseat on top of the cart despite being in possession of the fact presented here, that is your choice, and you are entitled it. However, do not try to justify your risky decision and make yourself feel better by belittling, ridiculing, and undermining the experience of this mother (and the many others who have posted).

  • Annabelle's Mom March 19, 2014, 1:45 pm

    Thank you for posting this. My daughter is 3 now, but I was guilty of doing this. It never did feel right, luckily my husband was ALWAYS with me while shopping and one of us was always with our daughter. She never did like being ”alone” (as she calls being two feet away from us now) She was mostly always held. Now she screams when I put her in the cart, but I just deal with it. Most the time she likes to be in the ”big” part and we have the same fight once every two minutes in the store ”Annabelle sit down on your bottom, if you stand up you’re going to have to ride in the seat.” Carts are dangerous for kids period, they are so easy to topple over. I worked at Kroger during high school and saw it all the time.

    And like others, BEFORE I had one I always thought some parents needed better control over their rambunctious children. Now I’m betting people like the two men that commented have never had a bored toddler around.

    And to the person who pretty much said ”mind your own business”… was I supposed to leave the 18 month old boy I found wandering around Wal-Mart alone?! I took his hand and walked him to Customer Service and waited with him until his mom finally came to the front, and then it wasn’t ”you need to keep a better eye on your child.” She said ”Thank you so much!” and I told her it was not a problem. At least it was me and not some creep. We can’t watch our kids 24/7 and it only takes a split second for them to wander off or for something to go wrong.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 12:56 pm


    If my kids or myself don’t know you, I’m sorry I don’t want your advice. This is a good article for every mother to read, but I wont tell a mother she’s a bad mom because she does this.

    Ashley, I wrote this post almost a year ago. I’ve never once given out the URL because I’m too afraid of responses like yours.

    For the same reason, I’ve never once approached a parent who had a cross-eyed child — even though I was cross-eyed and started wearing glasses at age two and two of my kids are as well — and let them know that leaving it untreated can cause permanent eye damage. Because I’m so familiar with the condition amblyopia, it’s easy for me to spot, when most parents aren’t aware of it.

    So, rather than protect a child from having their head smashed on the pavement or from having permanent, irreparable eye damage, I shut up…or blog.

    But perhaps attitudes like yours are more a problem than mine. You equate me sharing a personal story of something I did — without intent and without knowledge — so as to prevent horrific tragedy, as telling someone she’s a “bad mom.”

    Why would you do that? Why are you unable to hear what even a stranger says out of love and concern? Why would you skew good intentions that way? It’s not as if you have to comply.

    I suppose if one of your children ran out in the street, you’d be happy if everyone who SAW it stood by taking pictures to upload to YouTube or something? Or do you just have some arbitrary line that “the village” is supposed to divine about when they can say something and when they can’t?
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 1:00 pm


    I am not saying that incidents don’t happen but something smells a little fishy when you combine this story (causing parental fear) with a sales pitch (that ends the newly created fear).

    You might note that I wrote this post in April of 2013 and added the helpful products YESTERDAY (March 2014) —after a few hundred thousand hits on the page. (You can check wayback if you think that’s fishy.) And I added them based on what readers told me and what I did myself. (I also left comment links to products others recommended.)

    If this post was about marketing someone else’s product, I’m a darn bad internet marketer.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding DiscountMy Profile

  • Sarah March 19, 2014, 2:05 pm

    My goodness! Some people sure get bent out of shape easily! I don’t think that the story was posted to offend anyone or make them feel like a horrible parent. She was sharing an experience and sharing information. Take the information or leave it, but there’s no reason to be rude!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 2:03 pm

    Allison Goins, congratulations and best wishes with your new baby! What a wonderful adventure. 🙂
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…See the Back of Your Head: Hinged Bathroom MirrorsMy Profile

  • JasonU March 19, 2014, 3:58 pm

    I would suggest that your rushing around was just as (if not more) much the problem as the car seat on the cart. If maneuvering the cart carefully there is no reason to fear the safety of the child in the car seat.

  • Amy Taylor March 19, 2014, 4:40 pm

    I was not as lucky as you were. My now 10 yr old was in an accident exactly like your situation. My husband had our 3 month old in her car seat on top of the cart. He hit a pothole in the grocery store pavement and the entire cart flipped. My daughter suffered a broken ankle, a black eye and a huge contusion (bruise/pump knot) across her forehead. Please, please don’t ever place your children on top of the cart!

  • jeff March 19, 2014, 5:16 pm

    You are and idoit so what would have happend if u did not have him in his seat the cart would.have still cashed and tthe baby would have hit.the pavement so all this blog really is to sell your crap…. give it up ..

  • Jordan R March 19, 2014, 5:28 pm

    I need to speak up to these people who are so clueless that they argue about this. People need to GET A LIFE and stop being so defensive just because you feel GUILTY because you do something DANGEROUS and now that you know it’s dangerous you are too LAZY to change your habits. And to the STUPID STUPID STUPID man who thinks he knows SCIENCE and has NO IDEA how things work.

    In November I was grocery shopping with my sister. We were INSIDE the store. Her 5-month-old daughter was in the cart JUST LIKE THIS PICTURE and I WATCHED her push down the seat until it snapped an then jiggle it to make sure it was on tight. She ALWAYS keeps a hand on the seat, so much that I have TEASED her about it because she’s trying to get out her money without letting go.

    When she had about 1/4 of the cart full plus a bag of diapers under the cart we turned a corner in the store and the hole cart started to tip. We were NOT going fast and we did not even hit ANYTHING on the ground. I reached out to stop the cart from tipping and the car seat latch just popped right off and the hole seat fell on the ground on it’s side and rolled to the top.

    The baby’s arm got caught between the seat and the ground and she got a terrible compound fracture on the upper arm with the elbow and the shoulder seriously injured. They don’t know if there will be permanent damage, but even if not, it was the most horrible thing I’ve been part of.

    PLEASE parents do not be so PROUD and STUPID that you get angry and defensive and make excuses or say “don’t tell me what to do.” PLEASE don’t listen to the STUPID people who argue that this can’t happen or they are too careful for it to happen or that you have to be doing something crazy for it to happen. THEY ARE WRONG and I just pray to God that they don’t find out how wrong they are the hard way.


  • Anna March 19, 2014, 5:30 pm

    Maybe I can play devil’s advocate on behalf of the “haters.”

    First of all, I don’t begrudge your post. It’s the internet and people can say what they want. I can choose not to partake of what I don’t agree with.

    But yes, I would be annoyed if someone stopped me in the grocery store to either tell me their story or hand me a slip of paper because they don’t agree with a parenting choice that I am making.

    Here’s why: until you cut every single thing with a hint of danger out of your child’s life, you’re a hypocrite. Plain and simple. We ALL make decisions every day that weigh safety vs. convenience. Those scales tip differently for all of us.

    You are making a judgment of that person, whether you want to admit it or not. You “assume” that since their choice doesn’t match yours on this particular topic, then they couldn’t possibly have all the right information. That’s not always true.

    Prime example that applies to practically all americans is the use of motor vehicles. It’s way more dangerous for a baby to ride in a car, even with the best car seat money can buy and the most perfect installation, than it is to put a car seat on a cart. We all know it’s dangerous and yet we all do it, and no one bats an eye or gets all preachy about the dangers.

    I’ve read this information before and I still put my baby’s infant seats on top the cart. Am I a heartless and uncaring mother because I ignored this important safety advice? No. I simply weighed the increase in safety with the decrease in convenience and made a decision that fit my life. Plus, as another commenter pointed out, I drove my cart carefully.

    So yeah, it’s annoying when someone else, who does the exact same thought process on a daily basis, just like me, wants to educate me on whatever topic, just because they happen to be passionate about that one thing.

  • carboncopy March 19, 2014, 5:30 pm

    jeff, before you ever post on a blog again, I suggest you learn to spell basic vocabulary words and how to use punctuation.

    Exactly what is an “idoit”? I’d probably call you one, but I don’t know what it is. :p

  • Gayle March 19, 2014, 5:34 pm

    My girls are grown; but I was the guilty one with the infant seat on the cart handle. However, and I know this doesn’t make it right, I always held on with one hand on the baby seat when walking to the car. Thanks for the heads up as I hope to be a grandma soon:} God Bless,

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 4:45 pm

    Amy Taylor, bless your heart. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for what happened and I know how easily this can occur. I’m so glad your sweet girl recovered.

    There is video on YouTube showing slow moving carts hitting parking lot speed bumps, etc., and detaching. It doesn’t require speed or huge variation in the surface. It should go without saying that accidents can be avoided. (Don’t ever go to a store and I PROMISE you’ll never get hurt in a store.) But using a car seat in a way it is NOT designed to be used is asking for disaster.

    If a car seat DID, in fact, properly lock, you wouldn’t need to take extraordinary care with the seat in that position. But it doesn’t. When you add the other problems with it (center of gravity, etc., blocking view, weight) it makes the situation too problematic to be a smart solution.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Best Toys RoundupMy Profile

  • Sharon March 19, 2014, 6:19 pm

    Allison, I have been watching this thread and then looking through your blog – – especially the logical fallacy articles – – and just want to say thank you for being so well spoken and smart. It’s so good to hear a woman use her brain!

  • Laura Elm March 19, 2014, 6:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story! I actually saw a cart tip over in Walmart with a baby carrier on the top. Thankfully she wasn’t injured but this is something all parents should be aware of.!

  • Pam March 19, 2014, 6:43 pm

    I have a separate strap that came with a stroller that holds the carseat in place on the stroller, that could help hold it on the cart, I wonder if they sell them separate, could help others. The next child I have it will be used to hold the seat in place, thank you for sharing.

  • JC March 19, 2014, 7:03 pm

    Definitely good to know. Not something that happens often, obviously, but it *can*, and that latch on the car seat certainly *seems* designed for shopping cart use. However, those wrap-style and Mei Tai carriers need serious evaluation by the mom before use–there’s nothing like a crotch strap to support the kid if they suddenly force their legs downward, straightening their hips, and slide right out the bottom in an instant when Mom isn’t keeping one hand under them (mine would most definitely do that with his superhuman legs, though apparently not all are like him). There are other kinds of carriers as well that can fit individual needs, from soft front/back carriers to foldable frames. None of them let the baby keep sleeping after the car ride like the baby car seat does, though, unfortunately…

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 6:03 pm

    Good heavens, Anna. A disagreement that is actually civil and (mostly 😉 ) cogent! Thank you! 🙂

    I would be annoyed if someone stopped me in the grocery store to either tell me their story or hand me a slip of paper because they don’t agree with a parenting choice that I am making.

    That’s fine. And I’ve never actually done it, as I said above. But I’m unsure why so many people are so defensive. Honestly. I have six kids and I have had people tell me everything you can imagine, including “How dare you have more than two?” and if presented with decency and kindness (that comment was not, it was shouted to me by an elderly lady in the Deerfield Beach, Florida, Home Depot — in front of my two children (I was pregnant with #3) — true!), I accept it for what it is, decency and kindness. We don’t have to do what people suggest, but why does it hurt to listen? Why get our noses bent out of shape instead of just considering?

    Here’s why: until you cut every single thing with a hint of danger out of your child’s life, you’re a hypocrite. Plain and simple.

    Now here’s where it gets interesting. I love the “hypocrite” argument, because it comes up all the time about everything. So first, let’s step back and examine what a hypocrite really is.

    Hypocrite: a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.

    If I presented to someone else — in this post or otherwise — that as a superior parent I have “cut out every single thing with a hint of danger out of [my] child’s life” then, yes, I would be a hypocrite. But I didn’t. I challenge you to find anywhere I have made such a claim. You won’t, because I haven’t. We ski, bike, swim, hike, and even do gymnastics and karate. Oh, and we ride in cars and planes and boats. And we have stairs and we breathe. 🙂

    So suggesting to someone that it’s dangerous to put a car seat on top of a grocery cart simply does not require me to have no danger in my life — not even to avoid hypocrisy. In fact, I don’t even have to stop putting my own car seat on top of a grocery cart, as long as I’m not making a PRETENSE about it.

    For example, I know it’s good to get enough sleep every night and I teach my kids that they will be healthier and feel better if they do. But I never get enough sleep myself. I’ve been a certified night owl since birth (according to my parents) and since age two (in my memory of driving my sister bonkers). Try as I might, I cannot get my body rhythms to match the real world. So I live on between three and six hours of sleep almost all the time. The fact that I know ample sleep is good doesn’t make me a hypocrite. That simply isn’t what the word means.

    We ALL make decisions every day that weigh safety vs. convenience. Those scales tip differently for all of us.

    Absolutely. And you can see from the comments that there are many, many people who would weigh safety more than convenience on this issue, now that they know the facts. Without knowledge, the decision making is faulty — as mine was. It was an easy adjustment to make (if slightly inconvenient) and much safer — not just in the store, but later in the car. If you choose not to use that information, that’s your decision to make.

    You are making a judgment of that person, whether you want to admit it or not. You “assume” that since their choice doesn’t match yours on this particular topic, then they couldn’t possibly have all the right information. That’s not always true.

    Of course I’m making a judgment, I have absolutely zero problem judging people. (Like the “hypocrite” issue, I think it’s a misunderstood and misrepresented “problem.”) We judge all day all the time.

    Am I a heartless and uncaring mother because I ignored this important safety advice?

    This is where you jump the shark. 🙂

    So yeah, it’s annoying when someone else, who does the exact same thought process on a daily basis, just like me, wants to educate me on whatever topic, just because they happen to be passionate about that one thing.

    I guess I find this statement kind of amusing. Just as with another commenter above, you seem not to realize that you are doing the same thing you accuse me of. Why would you come to my blog and get annoyed that I’m educating you about something I’m passionate about and proceed to educate me on your impassioned annoyance? Kind of a pot and kettle thing, no?
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…I Hope She’s Pretty – Boys Will Be BoysMy Profile

  • abby March 19, 2014, 7:30 pm

    I about lost my son once I freaked out of course my sister started yelling at me saying if I locked him on it wouldn’t have happened. From than on down to my youngest(now 1) I don’t leave a hand off the seat! I am excited when they sit up because I know they can sit in the cart covers. I didn’t realize that they adjust to the newborn too. I blamed myself thinking it was my fault thank you for this post.

  • Jessica March 19, 2014, 7:59 pm

    See this is very informative but when my son is latched onto the cart I hold onto him especially in areas I know will be kinda rough and my daughter who is 4 knows better than to climb on the cart she stays right by my side in the stores… There r ways for us to avoid this situation with just a little more thought into certain situations… I always think of what negative outcomes can come out of things I do with my babies…. Of course it makes sense that if u hit something rough there is a chance the car seat can fall off I didn’t think that was safe for one second… So I hold onto his seat with one arm while he is up there. 🙂

  • Amanda March 19, 2014, 8:08 pm

    Please take off the comment regarding young babies and seat covers. It is not at all appropriate for an infant to sit upright in a shopping cart seat until they have significant head, neck, and back control.
    I’m sure you don’t intend someone to put a 6 week old in that thing, but…..well…..it happens. Any child who is sitting up in one of those and can’t keep their chin up is in very real danger of asphyxiation.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 9:00 pm

    Amanda, thanks for the feedback.

    I don’t think the term “young baby” should be considered synonymous with “newborn.” But I changed it to say “young child.”

    I expect people to read the manufacturers directions and follow them appropriately. 🙂
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  • agnes March 19, 2014, 10:47 pm

    I feel like Im suffocating looking at this image, thick blanket covering the carseat. I do see alot of that in SoCal, are they trying to protect them from germs? We all need to be very careful when making choices regarding our offsprings, especially for our little babies – car seat safety being one of them – we need more common sense and alertness, yes that does become a challenge with sleepless nights etc… May all babies be safe! Im glad all the babies turned out ok from the stories•comments I read here.

  • Beverly March 19, 2014, 10:47 pm

    I too am guilty of putting my daughter’s car seat on the top of the cart. Fortunately, she was never tossed off and is now a healthy teenager. I did have a buggy seat cover that I used once she was sitting up well.

    On a somewhat related note: Please do not let your children of any age stand in the buggy. Their center of gravity is higher than the top of the buggy’s basket and it is far too easy for them to topple out. I once watched in horror from about 15 feet away as a toddler fell head-first out of a buggy and onto the concrete floor at Sam’s Club. The parents were chatting with another shopper (apparently a friend they’d run into) and not paying the child much attention. The child didn’t seem to be more than bruised and frightened, but it could have been so much worse.

    I did let my daughter sit in the basket after she got too big for the seat, but never, ever, did I allow her to stand in it.

  • Anna March 19, 2014, 11:08 pm

    As I said, I don’t begrudge your post. That’s what the internet is for. I do have some doubts about your choice of product placement at the end, since most babies in an infant seat would not be able to use those fabric seat protectors.

    Anyway, what I would take issue with is that you stop people in the grocery store to give them a scrap of paper with a link to your blog (read your post-that’s exactly what you state that you did). And apparently take pictures of their child without their consent for use on your ad supported blog. THAT is intrusive and rude.

    And there is a big difference between you doing that and me commenting on your blog. You invite comments by posting a blog and having a comment section. The person in the grocery store is minding their own business and is not inviting your input on their lives.

  • marsha Wyant March 19, 2014, 11:10 pm

    She is not wrong take it from a Grandma who knows and lived thru the HELL to tell you this!! This happened to me and my Grandson!! No one can imagine this till it happens to u and that baby you love more than you love life flies thru the air and lands on a concrete floor face first at 4months old!! This does happen and the agony is more than you should have to bear!! As his head began to swell as blood gathered in it!!! We made trips to baby neurologists in St L ouis!! His head just kept getting bigger!! I just wanted to die and prayed God would just take me home for the mistakes I had unknowingly made and for the defective things that hadn’t done the things I thought they had!! Oh this is soooo real and my Grandson finally quit bleeding in his brain and he is alive today by Gods graces!! I just went over a threshold of a door and it ejected him out of the cart! And no one would help me and driving myself to the emergency room was beyond my doings! But I did it I feel with Gods help and I feel God rescued me and my Grandson from what could have been and what was told by specialists would happen to him!, he was to have hydrosyphalis and be a vegetable! God gets us thru and I thank Him daily, no I didn’t deserve this but He loved me and my Grandson enuf to give it to us as a wonderful gift!!

  • AnnieM March 19, 2014, 11:39 pm

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. My daughter is four now, but I did put her seat on the cart like this sometimes. I assumed that because I saw so many other people doing it, and because the seat did seem to “lock” in place that the carts were designed to accommodate that arrangement. I read a lot and am usually pretty “up” on safety issues. This is definitely something that the public needs to be educated about. A few simple warning posters placed in stores in the area where the carts are parked would go a long way in educating the public.

  • simplybecky March 20, 2014, 12:40 am

    “However, those wrap-style and Mei Tai carriers need serious evaluation by the mom before use–there’s nothing like a crotch strap to support the kid if they suddenly force their legs downward, straightening their hips, and slide right out the bottom in an instant when Mom isn’t keeping one hand under them.”

    JC, you’ll want to take a look at a picture of a Mei Tai carrier in use… baby’s legs are spread wide and even and come out the sides of the carrier, so there’s definitely support at the crotch area to keep the baby from falling out. The same is true for the wraps: the “X” formation you see is a crossing of the wrap, and baby’s legs are placed so they straddle it and that provides the crotch support. If you watch a tutorial video on how to wrap a Moby (for example) and then how to put the baby in the wrap, you’ll see it’s very secure.

    To be clear, it is definitely possible to use these carriers incorrectly and in an unsafe manner, so you are correct that any parent using them will want to inspect them carefully and know exactly what they’re doing. But used correctly, they are very safe 😉

  • Alison Moore Smith March 19, 2014, 11:53 pm

    Anna, it’s a literary device. As you can see, I couldn’t have given her the URL BEFORE writing the post about her, because URL wouldn’t have existed. It’s an “every woman” post.

    As I’ve already explained, I wrote the post a year ago. I added the products YESTERDAY because (1) people keep asking how they can possibly shop without doing this and (2) lots of people (here and on social media) have given their suggestions.

    marsha Wyant, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you all went through such a horrific experience. I’m SO glad your grandbaby has recovered! 🙁
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…I Want My PopcornMy Profile

  • Spencerfamily March 20, 2014, 5:58 am

    And where do you put twins?

  • Becky March 20, 2014, 6:04 am

    My cousin’s wife recently told me the same thing so I did some research. I found that some infant carriers can be locked onto the carts. It depends on the carrier. You can check your booklet that came with your carrier.

  • Stephanie March 20, 2014, 6:18 am

    When you are pushing the cart why are you not holding onto the car seat? I feel like that is common sense. I get that there is a risk, but I think there is a royal to a lot of things in life. Use your head and hold onto the actually car seat as you push the cart. Just a thought. I don’t want to wake my sleeping newborn so that I can grocery shop with a crying baby. I get why you wrote this article/post but I also think that people just need to use their heads and hold onto your baby in the carrier. If I am going over bumps in the stroller I do the same thing. There is some food for thought.

  • Roberta March 20, 2014, 6:55 am

    I have 5 children and 8 grandchildren. Not once have I had nt of the drama you had. Sounds like you are just trying to sell something.

  • Kristin CPST (child passenger safety technician) March 20, 2014, 7:01 am

    I’m so happy your child made it through the fall. This is something I stress often. I help parents learn how to properly install and use their car seats to help keep their child the safest they can be. Thank you for sharing your story. An above post by Lindsay has frustrated me. Please don’t let someone like her deter you from kindly sharing this information. When we don’t know something we make a choice thinking it’s ok, but when informed we make an entirely differ choice most times. I opt for knowledge to make the best choice over taking offense as this lady clearly would. It’s people like her who will end up trying to figure out why something happened to their child sadly – because they were ‘too good’ to take things like this at face value and realize it’s one mom helping another, in a kind way. Thanks for helping share this information.

  • Christina March 20, 2014, 7:21 am

    Thanks for posting this. I’m not sure why anyone is arguing with nonsense posters. The internet has people who hate- they’re called trolls. Talking to them just makes them come back for more, it’s better to just ignore them. Carseats do not latch to your cart. Period. The center of gravity makes them an accident waiting to happen. Period. If you want to engage in this behavior- whatever, do it. Don’t complain if your baby falls off though, you were warned. Also, don’t complain about mamas trying to gently and kindly help other mamas out. You don’t want to be told what to do? Good, she’s warning, not forcing you to obey. If you don’t want to be told what to do don’t come around trying to tell her what to do. Thanks for giving me a simple link to pass on to people!

  • amanda March 20, 2014, 7:42 am

    I’m sorry to hear what happens to you but I agree with jean. If you weren’t in a hurry you would have seen that pot hole. Also as a mom with multiple kids I know how serious it is to be safe. I not only did this at one point or more at my life but I always held onto the seat. I am very strict when it comes to my kids safety maybe if you ate going to put them on it make sure you have a secure grip on it as well. This goes for the mom also whom let the baby topple over when her toddler was climbing on the cart. Damn watch your kids better. That in no way should have happens. PERIOD. Safety comes first in my eyes. If you feel like something can happen then don’t do it. But if you ate careful and put your kids first and watch them then nothing stupid like thus should happen. I know I know how are you going to shop while holding onto the baby cart well you have two hands right. If you are going to take another kid with you that could prevent you from watching the baby it us called discipline

  • kaynee March 20, 2014, 6:51 am

    Really all you people who have had a child fall out of the cart how freaking fast were you pushing it? I have done this with 2 kids and nothing has happened. I’m sorry it has happened to people but really? Hold onto the seat! I have pushed a cart over bumps before and nothing has happend! Maybe the moms shouldn’t be texting while shopping with there kids and actually pay attention!

  • April March 20, 2014, 8:05 am

    I realize this is an “older” post, and I didn’t read ALL the comments, but had to throw my .02 in to correct something I *did* read. Regarding the positioning of the infant seat handle in a vehicle. Read the manual for the seat. Some manufacturers require the handle to be in a certain position, either up or down. Others will say any locked position is fine. Don’t just assume that you MUST keep it down.

  • starmommy3 March 20, 2014, 9:36 am

    I am offended by the amount of people that honestly have a problem with this post. First off thank you for posting this and sharing this story. Second I am a mother that does this. I am thinking twice now because I don’t want to be one of these mothers that had to go through this. I want to save myself from having to go through the fear that some mothers have already experienced. I thought that the locking mechanism kept them safe I thought it kept safe because of it leaning backwards as I was just to make it easier for the baby to sleep when a mother was doing her shopping duties or whatever I’m not no idiot and I resent anybody who calls anybody idiot for letting the child to be up that I didn’t know no different

  • Asiyah Brown March 20, 2014, 9:46 am

    I read this to see if maybe your experience was similar to my own… I was horrified at what you endured upon reading it and yet was so grateful your experience was not my own… I like you had a lot of children 9 in the home at the time I was trying to hurry I had 3 of the children with me at the store one who was 3 and the other who was 5 one wanted some candy for the entrance to the checkout lane… one that was putting stuff in the cart, and one who was in her carseat in the seating area of the cart. I similar to the picture had a blanket over my baby who was sleeping and the hood up so the lights wouldnt effect her peaceful state of sleep while I loaded all my food onto the belt, the cashier was asking me a question, I was side eyeing my two little ones who were just very busy and also clueless to their surroundings when I pushed the cart in front of me to load the groceries that had been run up back into the cart I saw that my baby was gone… She was no longer in her car seat, the blanket was there the hood was still up but because I was on the other side of the cart dealing with the cashier and the grocer, and tending to the younger two who while very well behaved at that stage in their lives were still busy I did not see that a person had taken my child out of my cart… She did not make a sound… My heart stopped I stared at the cashier for answers I didn’t know what to do I was immobilized frozen in time… it was the most scary experience I have ever faced my eyes scanned the store the people behind me also clueless stood in disbelief that they didnt see what happened I finally managed to muster the words in a shrill shriek my baby is gone! At which time I turned and in the corner of my eyes I saw my husband holding my baby… you see he and a friend happened to stop by the grocery store to get some Egg Nog and he saw me so busy he wanted me to realize the dangers that are out there so he decided to show by example. Now… while I am no longer married to him 🙂 I was soooooo grateful that my child was safe in his arms… this was one of the cruelest if that’s a word lessons anyone has ever taught me, but also one of the most valuable. I didn’t figure your husband had done the same but as I mentioned before I am grateful your experience was not like mine. Grocery store carts with car seats in them poses many dangers… they make amazing carriers now please wear your babies when you are shopping keep them close and safe they were a blessing and a gift to us enstrusted by God to take the very best care of, and such simple moments that we have done a thousand times before can truly end in devastation… I hope you don’t mind my sharing my story.

  • Jarrod March 20, 2014, 10:10 am

    Just so you know most car seats will fit longways across the cart, without the use of the actual seat mechanism of the cart. it sits down deeper and is very stable, unless the actual cart flips itself, which at that point it doesnt matter where your child is.

  • tvf March 20, 2014, 10:13 am

    on every infant seat i have ever purchased, it has said to not place on the seat of a shopping cart…said it on the seat and in the manual. this would be a graco infant seat and an eddie bauer infant seat.

  • Kathy Jones March 20, 2014, 10:18 am

    when my daughter was born the infant seat we purchased had a set of locking clasps designed for the shopping carts. That was one of the features it offered and one reason why we chose it. It was not for attaching to a base in the car as back then (1990) there was no “base” or stroller attachment. Also back then shopping carts were basically all the same… just your average plain silver metal shopping cart. In todays age they are all different they may be still be the standard that I speak of, or they may be multi-leveled, extra wide, on the smaller size as in discount/dollar stores, they have different sized bars, painted various colours or even be made of plastic.

  • sherri March 20, 2014, 10:37 am

    I have three grown children and 2 nephews(twins) that I helped to raise. Honestly it is a miracle they are all still alive! LOL. I think, out of ignorance, we all do things that endanger our children. I appreciate this post. It is a great way of telling parents a safety fact and I don’t believe there is any rudeness at all. I too put my children’s car seat on the top of the cart. I fortunately never had anything bad occur(though my husband once left my daughter in her car seat on top of the car and started to drive away!). I do know that people feel that approaching someone in the store to tell them how they are doing something unsafe is rude. I would somewhat agree. I however have narrowly caught a few children before they tumbled out of a shopping cart while their busily shopping parent had their backs turned. They never seemed insulted and, in fact, seemed great full that I had helped. It takes a village. The world was a better place when neighbors looked out for each other. Sorry for the rant.

  • crystal March 20, 2014, 10:46 am

    Thank you so much for sharing I do this all the time and I will not be doing this anymore i’m so sorry you had to go through this but thank you so much for helping others you truly are a guarding angel……

  • Alison Moore Smith March 20, 2014, 9:46 am

    Becky, I’ve heard that from one other commenter, but I’m skeptical. Why? Because there is no way for a car seat company to state that the car seat can safely attach to a grocery cart UNLESS they have specified and tested a particular brand of shopping cart. There are many different types.

    I’d be interested to know what particular brands/models make this claim and what the verbiage in the manual is.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On IceMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 20, 2014, 9:50 am

    starmommyy3, bless your heart. 🙂 Thank you for reading with an open heart and understanding my intent.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…70% Off Entertainment Coupon Book + Free ShippingMy Profile

  • vickie March 20, 2014, 11:29 am

    Allison, thank you for sharing. I am one of those mothers (my children are now grown) that does not mind kindly or not so kindly stepping in when I see a child in danger.
    To the men who posted such ignorant comments; this is why women bear the children. Most of you have no clue.
    It is a sad world we live in today but we all need a little help from time to time and if it in the form of a blog warning of the dangers of using a baby car seat inappropriately, then God bless the author.
    Good luck to all mothers, grandparents, fathers, aunts , siblings, nannies and anyone who cares for our beautiful children.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 20, 2014, 10:46 am

    Asiyah Brown, all I can say is that I can see why you aren’t married to the jerk. How awful that he didn’t just come HELP you!
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding DiscountMy Profile

  • Sarag March 20, 2014, 12:48 pm

    Thank you for sharing this. I had a baby just a year ago and of course that is how I did my grocery shopping. I had never heard of something like this happening but I sometimes felt a little uncertain about the steadiness of the infant carrier on the shopping cart. It makes me sick thinking about the baby who died or any who have even been unjured. Thank God nothing ever happened to us. This is a good story to pass on to my expecting mom friends.

  • Megan March 20, 2014, 1:44 pm

    First off, I am appalled at some of the responses. Grown adults getting ridiculously defensive over something that you are only trying to get awareness of.
    Having said that, I do have one thought. You stated in the original post, “…I gave you this URL and hoped you’d look it up and read this post.” You then later went on to comment to someone, “As you can see, I couldn’t have given her the URL BEFORE writing the post about her, because URL wouldn’t have existed.”
    I would like to preface this by saying I would have no issue with you handing out the URL because you really are sincerely trying to stop people from having the traumatic experience you had. But, I do think that what I posted is why some people are questioning you giving advice to people. Because in the original post, it appears that this URL was given.
    Also, I think this post is a great one that people have blown way out of proportion. Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Noelle March 20, 2014, 2:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing. My older sister had this happen to her son when he was six months old and he suffered a skull fracture with a brain hemorrhage. After 2 major brain surgeries he is ok and on the mend now that he is 1 yr old. We had never thought it was unsafe. Her cart simply bumped a cement blokade and the car seat fell off. Thank you for raising awareness of this danger. Not all the victims come out unharmed.

  • Allison March 20, 2014, 2:29 pm

    I don’t know how I knew this was not safe, but I did, and thankfully never shopped like this. After I had my baby and would see moms out with the baby in the top, I would approach them and inform them. Most, did not know it was unsafe and grateful. Thankfully no one was rude to, or I probably would have cried! Now I can definitely give out this URL instead. My husband would tell me to leave it alone, but I could not!! My heart would ache and I would be nauseous until I approached the mom.
    You would think that this information would be passed out in the hospital after having a baby! They are very adamant about teaching you how to install the car seat in a car properly, this should be just as important. I just found out that I am pregnant, and when I go in for my first appointment I am going to mention it to someone. Maybe they will start adding this one extra sentence to the 500 we get about taking care of a newborn during our hospital stay.
    Thank you for sharing your story
    Allison recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • Ashley March 20, 2014, 7:08 pm

    I also want to add, that on the car seat itself on the warning label it states do not put on shopping carts or any high places such as a table.
    So this is also suggest no one reads the warning label on their baby gear. Why is this? If all parents want their babies safe, then please read the warning labels!!!

    Now in the case of the author situation, back then, they might not have had that on the label. So I’m not putting you down. Ty for your story

  • Regina White March 20, 2014, 7:29 pm

    I always did this not because I thought the seat locked to the cart but because I would never take my hands firmly off the car seat if I could not get the cart close enough to grab what I needed off the shelf with one hand then I would either not get it or ask someone to help me who has the money to buy any of the things you suggested, but I am sorry for the ones that had bad experiences

  • Kim K March 20, 2014, 7:53 pm

    It all boils down to this…if it saves even 1 child in a billion…is it not just worth sharing this information??? YES!!!!! Thank you for letting me know because I did this with my children but I will tell everyone I know!

  • Theresa March 20, 2014, 8:25 pm

    To be honest, you are using your experience (whether factual or fabricated), in order to sell your company’s products. I have looked at the website you directed to consumers, in order to purchase alternative products for shopping carts. In fact, you are the owner of that particular website. Thus, you are attempting to scare consumers into purchasing your products, in order for you to make money.

  • Lou Anna Claveau March 20, 2014, 8:41 pm

    I have six sons. I put my son inside the cart. I can’t really remember putting his car seat on top of the place the kids sit except once in a blue moon. I never took my hand off the seat Especially in the parking lot. If I had to leave the buggy I had his brother place his hand on the seat. On this same note too many people let their child stand up in the cart. If your child is too heavy to lift but you’re ok with them riding inside the cart, lift the “gate” of the seat and let them crawl inside!

  • Jackie March 20, 2014, 8:43 pm

    Additionally, if you cannot handle a child and shopping, then you need to close your legs and stop reproducing children that you cannot tend. Darwinism states parents should reproduce only if it benefits their survival – if death rate for a species is high, then parents should reproduce a lot and rear lots of young (quantity) whereas if death rate for a species is low, then parents should reproduce infrequently and rear one young (quantity). With humans being the superior species and thus have already overpopulated our planet, they are meant to only produce one offspring…not multiples. Otherwise, our planet will end up like the film Idiocracy.

  • Ashley March 20, 2014, 8:48 pm

    Be careful EVEN with your car seat attached to your stroller. With my first baby, my husband tried to step off a curb even though I yelled not to, and the car seat flipped up and over, detached from the stroller, and slammed down on the concrete with my 6 month old baby. Thank God the handle bar was up and locked, it saved her. I was shaking and crying for 10 minutes.

  • Kim March 20, 2014, 9:22 pm

    Great post and thank you for bravely sharing. HOWEVER. I hate to be that guy but you keep saying “mom.” Moms are in part so stressed and rushing because they’re expected to do stuff like all the grocery shopping. Saying “parent” will de-gender these tasks and then maybe we won’t have so many rushing, overtasked moms around, you know?

  • Pam March 20, 2014, 10:03 pm

    I was guilty of doing this when my kids were little and, yes, I knew the danger but like many above said – I kept a hand on it, etc. I occassionally used a bungie cord across the top if I felt I needed the extra protection. what I didn’t know, and what I think many of the above “mind your own business” people are missing, is that doing so could have done permanent damage to the seat & rendered it ineffective in an auto accident. So, while I understand what they are saying, I am appalled they would be ok with knowingly damaging their childs SAFETY seat. I would also like to point out, that IF this or something similar does happen – the car seat needs replaced immediately as it is then a crashed seat – same as a car accident. The damage may not be visible to the naked eye- but the stress on the plastic has been done and it is no longer safe. Car seats are giod for one crash only, then they need replaced.

  • Marcus March 20, 2014, 10:13 pm

    Theresa, you just got schooled. Go ahead and accuse and malign people if you want, but you might want to get your facts straight first.

    Top of the class in idiot school.

  • LeeAnn March 20, 2014, 10:16 pm

    I totally respect you for not wanting to get up in peoples business, good for you. HOWEVER, my friend told me of a time that she was shopping at target and she just had a new baby and he was in the car seat just like this article, but instead of what happened to you, her baby was on one side of the isle and she walked across to the other side to pick out the item she wanted. When she turned around there was a woman reaching for her baby and then panicked when she got caught and ran away. SCARY!!

    Ok, so it didn’t happen to me. But I darned well tell moms that when I see them do that. My personal opinion would be go ahead and tell them. 🙂 I would rather be Mommed than have my baby stolen or hurt. 🙂 You go!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 20, 2014, 9:38 pm


    To be honest, you are using your experience (whether factual or fabricated), in order to sell your company’s products. I have looked at the website you directed to consumers, in order to purchase alternative products for shopping carts. In fact, you are the owner of that particular website. Thus, you are attempting to scare consumers into purchasing your products, in order for you to make money.

    Theresa, you found me out!!!! I admit it. I OWN AMAZON.COM!!!

    Or…more likely, Theresa…you did not actually look at the websites I pointed to. You just looked at the URL shortener. :p

    This time, go back and actually look at the links you said you looked at. I will be waiting here to accept your apology. I’m sure you’ll be just as outspoken about that.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • dad March 21, 2014, 12:14 am

    Another person butting into business she dosen’t belong in. Your story is scary but you should have been paying more attention to your child in the seat. I have always put my kids seats in the cart and never had any problems. And if some strange lady slipped me a piece of paper sending me to a website that tells me how to raise my kids i would be mad. Its not obvious child abuse than mind you own business and stop projecting.

  • Jocelyn March 21, 2014, 12:03 am

    I am so sick of all the alarmist moms with the ALL NEW DANGERS we didn’t know about. Your point is valid about childhood accidents being preventable. If I never try to teach my kids how to ride their bikes, they will never be hurt falling off them. I am 100% pro-information, but I think many of these moms who are so happy to work around this risk, which is statistically as likely as winning a large sum of money on a scratch ticket, will then strap their infants into improperly installed car seats for the drive home (consumer reports found 47-65% of rear-facing car seats examined were loose or at the wrong angle). It reminds me of moms-to-be who say “I wouldn’t risk my child’s health by taking even one sip of alcohol or one bite of deli meat or sushi” but who think nothing of commuting 20+ miles back and forth to work every day. Very few people investigate the numbers for themselves (Lowest level of alcohol shown to have negative effect on a baby in scientific study of 800,000 women: 8+ drinks/week. Odds of getting food poisoning from undercooked chicken in any restaurant or at home: 1 in 20. Odds of getting food poisoning from raw fish from a reputable sushi restaurant 1 in 1,000. Odds of dying in a car accident: 1 in 84.) No studies as of yet on car-seat/shopping cart catastrophes.

  • Rachel March 21, 2014, 1:48 am

    One does not have to be in a hurry or careless to have an accident. One day i was leaving the grocery store with a whole load of groceries being very carful due to the slope of the parking lot. My hands lost their grip on the handle of the cart and before i could grab it the cart went flying down the parking lot hit a car and flipped over onto the seating area. My first thoughts were Thank God i didnt have a baby strapped to the cart! Right then and there i made an informed decision I will not ever strap a baby to a cart but like many who have posted comments on here I too believed it was ok to do that. When I was dignosed with MS a year later I became even more aware of safety issues due to my symptoms. And i am learning to become more aware of my physical actions, my surroundings and make a plan of action but most importantly asking for help(which is hard for me being the strong and independent maybe a bit stubborn type). While i understand it is impossible to plan for every possible mishap. I do and hope to continue doing so if i am able to have children to find solutions that work (ie have someone either watch my child(ren) or come along to help, etc.) for me and possible future child(ren). One of the best things I learned in school 20 years ago was critical (not judgemental) thinking. When I was first diagnosed I became very depressed because I felt that I couldnt be able to raise a child due to the limitations i do and may have down the road. With that I want to say a huge THANK YOU to All of YOU for helping me learn of such inovative solutions and reminding me of something I love to do(critical thinking) and Hope to instill in my child(ren) and most importantly giving me HOPE that i may be able to be a MOM someday despite my diagnosis. Until then i will spread the word too because I have a beautiful niece and many tiny cousin cuties that i dont want to see this happen to, for that matter any child or parent.

  • Katelyn March 21, 2014, 1:50 am

    If you find out something is dangerous an ignore it for convenience, you are neglecting your child. Car seat manuals say NEVER to put the car seat on a shopping cart or elevated surface. Car seats are not designed to latch to a car seat. Your opinions on whether that is true or not don’t matter. It is FACT! Trying to latch a car seat to the shopping cart damages the part that locks into the base in the car making it dangerous to use. You would be damaging your seat and it can and most likely will void any warranty for the car seat. When you know better you can do better. If you choose to put your child in danger knowingly, you should probably not have children.

  • J March 21, 2014, 3:56 am

    Why the hell don’t US carts just have baby seats built into them like the ones in the UK do? Seems a hell of a lot safer and the ideal way to STOP people doing this sort of thing.

    Shopping cart manufacturers and stores? Get on this NOW.

    Additionally, time for better infrastructure for home delivery of groceries. It is an absolute god send for those of us with multiple small children in tow. You pay a little extra but you avoid a grocery trip.

  • Alyssa March 21, 2014, 4:21 am

    I stopped reading the comments after the first 100 because of the pure ignorance. This isn’t a “tip” shared by Allison, but rather the law of physics. Shopping carts and car seat manufacturers also prohibit the use of seats on carts. In fact, the shopping cart illustrates a picture advising people not to place a car seat on or in the cart. Why arent people arguing with the shopping cart companies instead of this woman sharing her story? I’m not sure why people are feeling threatened by this. Keeping your hand on baby, walking slowly, etc are not realistic options. Not only that, but regardless if your hand is on baby, locking the car seat into a shopping cart can damage the locking mechanism and may cAuse the seat to fail in a car accident.

  • Mikki Allen March 21, 2014, 4:37 am

    The very same thing happened to me, except, my mom & I had gone shopping together when my daughter was a few days old. (Mom doesn’t live close by so we took advantage of the time together). My daughter was in the car seat in the basket as we walked through the store. At the checkout, she became slightly fussy so I lifted her out of the car seat and we left the store with Mom pushing the buggy. When she pushed it over the speed bump, all of a sudden, the car seat went flying. Mom turned back and looked at me with a look of pure horror and then realized I was still holding the baby. Never again did I put a seat on the basket.

  • Amanda K. March 21, 2014, 7:49 am

    This post is GREAT! It’s important to add — never put your child in ANY carrier on anything high. It seems convenient to put your child on the table, etc. but it’s just not safe. I placed my son on top of our dryer in a bouncy seat as we were packing up to leave the house — I have no idea what I was thinking — and he fell off. Thankfully, he was strapped in and the frame hit the floor (not his head) but the story could have ended VERY differently.
    Sure, it’s inconvenient, but safety is SO much more important.
    Amanda K. recently posted…Running: My aching, creaking hipsMy Profile

  • anne March 21, 2014, 9:15 am

    I have done this with both of my kids and both of them have turned out just fine with no accidents of this kind ever. I understand to those of you who have had it happen were probably freaked out. But i don’t see how my car seat could ever go flying as out. It latched to the cart so well that it actually got stuck where it latched before. I agree with those who have said that if you have a problem with people who do this on the store just keep walking and don’t say anything. It really is none of your business what they do. If someone had ever said anything to me about it i would have walked away from them as they were talking or gave them a smart remark about minding their own business and not being so rude.

  • Ginny March 21, 2014, 9:59 am

    So many of the responses infuriated me…and I read EVER SINLGE ONE of them to ensure I hadn’t missed anything. I thank you Alison for sharing your story, thoughts and information! I am pregnant with my first baby and I don’t think I would have thought twice about it but reading your post has given me pause. To everyone that suggests it could have been prevented by discipline and paying attention needs a reality check. I didn’t realize there were perfect people/parents in this world! Accidents are called accidents for a reason and any FACTUAL information that we can be given to make informed choices to reduce those risks are welcome in my book!

  • Katherine March 21, 2014, 10:40 am

    I am angry when folks put their groceries in the car leaving their child in the carriage which could roll away. What’s more important!!!

  • Mary Stephens March 21, 2014, 10:50 am

    Thanks for this post and for offering a solution now as well. My dad always encouraged us not to point out a problem without having a suggestion for a solution if possible. 🙂

    I think I’ll be linking to this post as it seems like important information for mothers!

  • Carly March 21, 2014, 11:31 am

    A similar thing happened to my baby. I had precarious ly balanced her carseat atop the tiny Trader Joes seat when I hit a bump outside and she narrowly landed face first on the concrete – had divine providence not quickened my reflexes to catch her right before impact- she could have been seriously injured. Now I pull two carts tandem style with her safely in the basket of one cart and use the other for groceries.

  • Rachel Beal March 21, 2014, 11:49 am

    I have worked retail for almost 10 yrs and I can assure all the non believers that this in fact does happen. Its horrifying and the sound of a baby’s head hitting the tile will never leave you. Please be carful, shopping carts and carr seats are not made to fit together.

  • Kaleigh March 21, 2014, 11:50 am

    Is there a way to find out if the locking mechanism had been damaged? I have done this with both kids in the same car seat but I do still here the clicking when it clicks into place on the car seat and stroller does that mean it still works?

  • Zak March 21, 2014, 11:55 am

    Wait, how did you hand her this URL if you hadn’t written the post yet?

  • Alison Moore Smith March 21, 2014, 11:53 am

    Kaleigh, that’s an excellent question.

    I would contact the manufacturer of your car seat and ask them directly about this. I also know that sometimes fire departments, etc., hold free clinics about properly using a car seat. They might know how to check this for you.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 21, 2014, 12:06 pm

    Exactly, Zak. I couldn’t have and didn’t.

    As addressed above, it’s a literary device. It’s not a post to the woman in the picture or any other specific parent. I’ve never handed the URL to anyone (also addressed above). I’ve wanted to approach people but never have (read some of the comments to see why). So I wrote the post from the perspective of trying to gently explain this problem, unsolicited, to a mother. In the future, maybe I could, but I haven’t yet.

    Someone above got bugged that I said “mother” instead of “parent.” But the truth is, I have seen hundreds of mothers do this and I’ve never once seen a father do it. I’m all for equality, but I have no problem speaking directly to the audience I actually have experience with.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • Julie Justice March 21, 2014, 1:11 pm

    I am so glad you posted this because I’ve seen people do this many times and I have never felt like it was a good place for an infant because with the metal on the cart the infant carrier can slide right off! I have always put my baby inside the cart and placed items around the carrier or under the cart. I have also pushed the cart with my baby inside the cart while pulling another cart if I had many items to purchase or if I had my older son with me he would push the other cart. There is no excuse for people to have to put there infant on the top of the cart with all the inventions they have now a days. You can wear a backback, sling, put a shopping cart cover on the cart, or put the baby in a stroller from the carseat if you have the kind that snaps into the stroller so you don’t have to wake the baby up if there sleeping, or even get a sitter to shop! People need to be educated. Its not about the parents or a matter of who feels there right or wrong its a matter of child safety! Why chance hurting your baby if it can be prevented!!

  • Raquel March 21, 2014, 2:16 pm

    I use the Infantino Sash Mei Tai Carrier. We have used it since my little was a couple months old ( I recommend the wrap for smaller infants) and still use it today at 2 years old.

    As far are checking with your local fire departments and police stations, PLEASE make sure you see their certifications and check them out. Most are trained to the bare minimum with outdated information (like telling someone its okay to FF a 1 year old ).

  • Jeanie March 21, 2014, 2:19 pm

    I totally agree with this!! I never knew it wasn’t safe. I did it too. I do have another one to add —- letting your kids stand in the basket. My oldest was standing in the basket and I turned my back for just a second. I heard this weird sound like someone was about to throw up. I looked at my son and he (like most toddlers at that age) was top heavy and had lost his balance and the cart was jammed into his stomach. He didn’t have the strength to pull his upper body back up. He was hurt and scared.

    I was in a small store and heard a thump. In my heart, I knew that a kid had fallen out of a cart. By the time I got to the front of the store, I heard a child screaming. I saw a friend of mine cradling her daughter that had fallen head first on a floor that was essentially concrete with some tile over it. I never want to see that again!

  • Jen March 21, 2014, 3:03 pm

    Thank you for such a great post! Do you have any advice for telling someone nicely if you see them putting their car seat in a shopping cart like this? I’ve seen it happen several times and have no idea what to say. I’m sure most people simply don’t know. You mentioned handing them a piece of paper – how did people react? I don’t want to tell anyone how to parent but would also appreciate being told if something I was doing was unsafe. Thanks for any advice you have!

  • Kelly March 21, 2014, 3:16 pm

    Ok, I have heard about this before however, I am ALWAYS holding on to his seat tightly. I always, always, always have at least one hand clenching his seat down onto the cart. Even if I have to pick up something from the bottom shelf, I am still clenching his seat down onto the cart. I have to keep him up there. I can only shop once a month…

  • prsmama March 21, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Wow, Allison Goins must have AMAZING arm muscles to be able to maneuver a full grocery cart out to the parking lot AND hold onto the car seat clipped to the seat. Maybe my groceries for a family of 6 are WAY heavier than whomever she’s shopping for because it can be a challenge for me with even two hands on the bar. And btw I’m from Canada and I see this ALL the time. I think this info needs to get to the grocery store owners, and the cart producers so they can start including a warning graphic on the plastic flip part of the seat, like they already do telling you not to let you child ride standing up. Cuz you know darn well that all it will take is for someone to sue the tar out of a grocery chain after their kid is injured or dies because of this and that will be the end of this asinine debate–it will be practically illegal to put the seat in the cart.
    Alison, thank God for women like you who CARE enough to put yourself at the mercy of idiots to keep babies safe. Keep a stiff upper lip!!

  • prsmama March 21, 2014, 3:36 pm

    I was mistaken on the name–the poster who said you should have the common sense to hold on to the carseat while pushing the cart was not Allison Goins, but now I can’t find that post (you’ve had so many!). The sentiment is the same.

  • Lisa March 21, 2014, 3:47 pm

    Stunning how many comments here are using the just world fallacy. Guess what folks, sometimes bad things just happen and they could have happened to anyone. You aren’t special because you’ve done this and been lucky enough to have nothing happen and the author isn’t less than you because it happened to her.

    Putting a car seat on the cart seat is inherently unsafe. Walking carefully, putting your hand on the seat….whatever other “precaution” you think will save you and your baby from an accident do not make it safe. The reason nothing has happened is because you were lucky. That’s it. Because nothing makes something inherently unsafe suddenly be safe.

    More than that, you have all missed or ignored one of the biggest dangers of this behaviour: it risks damaging your car seat so that if you are ever in a car accident, the seat will not protect your child. There are NO (as in ZERO) car seats on the market that are designed to fit on a cart. And if you bothered to read the manual, you would find they all say to not do it because they are neither designed nor tested for it. Some very old seats claimed they could be used that way, but if you have one of those seats, it should be garbaged or recycled, because all of them will be expired. Even if putting it on the cart had no other risk, risking damage to the seat so it will fail in an accident should be enough to stop people doing it.

    Car seats are for safety in the car and that’s where they should really be left. You aren’t even supposed to use them for more than an hour or so in the car before getting the baby out, I’m baffled why parents think leaving babies in them for hours on end is acceptable.

    Get a baby carrier for babies too small to sit in the cart. Or get cart seat (or bring some blankets) & lay them down in the seat. It is not worth the risk. If you put the car seat on the shopping cart seat and haven’t had an accident, you’ve been lucky. Is your baby’s life worth testing your luck over & over?

  • GayVet March 21, 2014, 6:29 pm

    I can not believe how many people have such negative things to say in responce to this page! Some of them even being mothers themselves! Im single man with no kids, and you better believe I will pass this information along next time I see it. (In a polite non-threatening way of course) it would be rude of me NOT to say something. I can not fathom anyone would be upset for me helping to keep their children safe. “Excuse me ma’am, I dont mean to impose. Did you know that most car seats aren’t designed to attach to carts and can put your baby at risk?” And if she is having a bad day and decides to yell at me for being “rude”
    “Can you please take a look at your manual when you get home?” Thats a potential life saved and I wouldnt feel guilty at all.

  • Terra March 21, 2014, 6:39 pm

    With this article I’d love to bring to attention another deadly situation that I have seen too many times. I use to work for TSA and people will put their babies in their car seats on the steel tables then turn around to help another child, grab a bag, grab their shoes ECT. Babies fuss move in their car seats, people throw their HEAVY bags on the table and shake it, someone bumps the table, someone grabs the car seat to help thinking it’s empty, and a million other scenarios that only happen when your traveling and already overwhelmed trying to magage the act of traveling we’ve all been here and knows it a hassle for a million reasons. the steel tables are hit, jilted and rocked a million different ways to Sunday it’s uncontrollable to the point that every night we have to go straighten out the tables and get them back where they belong. They are also slippery to help move bags down the table and to keep clean. Car seats with babies get placed on the table and one of these millions of factors happens next thing you know everyone in ear shot hear the most scaring sound you ever hear in your life. A baby flip face first onto the cement floors(it is straight cement and steel under that tile NO barrier). Coming from experience you never recover from that, or seeing someone carelessly put their pet through the X-ray machine (but will fight you about scanning their phone). Please please please put the car seat on the floor, in the strollers anywhere but the tables. I have seen horrible things happen around the world from people putting car seats on the tables at the airport or any other situation like that it’s not worth the convenience you think your getting. Traveling and babies are 2 or the most unpredictable things in life take the extra time and care you need to keep your baby safe we understand you need an extra minute and if someone can’t keep their pants on just tell them to go around you and we’ll deal with them and the ants in their pants.

  • Kenneth March 21, 2014, 7:17 pm

    As a married man of three, a masters in business, educated in statistics, and working for the Children’s Division I am amazed at this story. It is old, but just recently arrived to my Facebook post. Although I am relieved in the outcome, this is a classic example of the experiences of a few attempting to change the many. Obviously if a car seat departs from a cart and is able to maintain the velocity needed to pass the entire shopping cart and end up on the pavement, someone was traveling at such a high rate of speed as to be unsafe. If, because of this experience, we can find a flaw in the action of placing a car seat on the cart, then is the flaw simply exist due to unsafe actions, or does any data really exist showing an unsafe condition with normal use? As with any scientific study, can can be manipulated to show desired outcomes. In order for this to have any validity of outcome for unsafe conditions, all safe and unsafe outcomes should be studied. If after this time it is still unsafe, then the many should be changed. I am betting though, due to the many comments, this will not be considered unsafe and efforts should focus more on remaining safe then preventing the action of putting the car seat on the cart.

  • Michelle March 21, 2014, 8:28 pm

    I always have a toddler sitting in the seat part of the cart, so baby ends up either in my wrap or *in* the cart if it’s a smaller shopping trip. I hate carrying a carseat around anyways. Once I discovered wraps, I’ve never looked back. 🙂 Also, it seems pretty obvious to me that carts are not designed to hold infant seats there. Other than Target carts, most I’ve tried to put a car seat in, the car seat ends up almost upside down in order to latch it in. That tells me, they did not have car seats in mind.

  • Mags March 21, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Most car seats lock in the carts! Some of them are too wide but most fit and stay in place.

  • James March 21, 2014, 10:11 pm

    Putting a carseat in a shopping cart is perfectly safe, as long as you’re not running through parking lots at such high speeds that if you hit a pothole it sends the seat end over end off the front. This lady refuses to admit she was careless so she puts the blame on carseats.

  • Kimi March 22, 2014, 12:06 am

    I am a mother of 5 kids. I have never put any of the car seats in the front seat of a shopping cart. I put the eggs and bread there then packed the other food around the car seat in the basket. But unfortunately I thought all baskets were safe until I discovered the dollar store. Here is my story.

    I had 3 kids with me at the time a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 9 month old. I placed the 2 year old in the seat of the shopping cart and the 9 month old in her car seat over the basket. Her car seat was way to big for the small dollar store carts but I thought it was safe. I then had one hand on my 4 year old. I turned to grab something off the shelf. When I heard a crash. My 2 hyper kids were fighting over the cart and it landed on the ground with baby in her car seat on her side spinning and the 4 year old under the cart. I quickly picked them all up gave kisses and calmed them all down. Even though my 4 year old, who was hurt the worst she kept saying: “I am sorry Mommy is my baby all right? I’m ok! Is my baby all right?”

    I never put the car seat in the dollar store cart again. I wish someone had told me sooner or shown me those cool wraps.

  • Katie Jenkins March 22, 2014, 1:07 am

    Wow i’m a new, inexperienced mom & I must admit to doing this in the beginning. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 22, 2014, 12:16 am

    James, you’re about as dumb as a stump. I’ve not only admitted to my role in it — that’s kind of what the post is about — but written an entire additional post for people like you who are too dense to see it.

    Now, as for blaming inanimate objects. Um…no. I simply note that car seat manufacturers actually “blame carseats” in the same way you imply. In other words, they say (over and over and over) “don’t put car seats on grocery carts because it’s not safe.” Feel free to argue with them. Let me know how that goes for you.

    P.S. Reading comprehension helps, too. The post actually says I “scurried.” That’s kind of a big word, but I’ll help you out:

    scurried: move hurriedly with short quick steps
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Argumentum Ad Hominem – Logical FallacyMy Profile

  • Kristen March 22, 2014, 6:43 am

    I for one would appreciate someone coming up to me and nicely informing me if I was doing something that could harm my child. This woman had 6 kids and nothing happened until her 5th. I was already aware this wasn’t safe because I’ve seen a story similar to this before I had my daughter, so I will be sharing this link. Thank you for sharing Allison!

  • Lisa P March 22, 2014, 7:10 am

    I changed my practice with the shopping cart with my 4th child (now 8 months) because of this happening to a friend of mine. Her baby wasn’t spared innjury though…. he ended up with a skull fracture and was hospitalized. (Her handle was down.) Luckily he made a full recovery, but only after months of care and costly doctor visits. My car seat has always “latched” to the cart as well and I never imagined it could pop off like that. No more for me! I stuff things in every space I can and utilize the underside more. Don’t risk it moms! 🙂

  • Katie March 22, 2014, 7:24 am

    Thank you for taking the time and energy to make a difference. I have no doubt that you are helping prevent accidents and maybe even saving lives. You could simply have learned your own lesson, made a change in your personal behavior, and carried on. But instead you’ve invested lots of time and energy into helping others. In my book, that makes you an unsung hero. While my children are now past car seat age and I only had one as an infant (all four were adopted, three were older), this does make me stop and wonder how many things we do that we simply don’t think through or just assume is safe because it’s the widely accepted standard or just do anyway because of convenience. Again, thank you. Be blessed.

  • donna March 22, 2014, 9:22 am

    I thank you for sharing this information. I think a lot of females on this site do not understand the full picture. You are sharing your story to let everyone know what happened to your child and they can draw their own conclusions. This is good for someone like me with my first child. Sometimes, you do not know it is dangerous and reading stories like this either makes you more cautious when the child is put on top but also discourage you from doing so. Luckily, I have always put my son in the child carrier and haven’t done this and in the future when I have more kids, I know not to do this. To me, sharing your story is a win/win situation, either parents will stop doing this or be more cautious when doing it which should help prevent injuries.

  • J. T. March 22, 2014, 10:48 am

    I’ve had 4 kids & never knew that putting my child in the cart that way was so unsafe!
    I sometimes put them in sideways because I couldn’t see over them or if I was lucky enough to go when it’s not busy I could grab 2 carts; pushing baby in front of me, pulling cart full of groceries behind me. Either way I couldn’t wait for them to start sitting up on their own!

    I’d like to add that parents need to make sure their older kids (even 2years) need to NOT climb on the carts. I’ve see so many flip over a full cart with a baby in top. Just because the cart weighs more (potentially) than your child they CAN still flip it over on themselves & they can get major injuries from this.

  • Sarah March 22, 2014, 11:20 am

    Some of the comments remind me of my 4 year old son’s logic. If I ask him to stop doing something because he could get hurt, he’ll keep doing it and then say, “See Mom, I didn’t get hurt.”
    Well, luckily he didn’t when he ran into the street or a parking lot, not that time, but it still doesn’t make it ok.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 22, 2014, 11:25 am

    Sarah, FTW. 😀
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth MotherMy Profile

  • Magan March 22, 2014, 1:07 pm

    I would put my first son on the top of the cart, following the crowd. One day while shopping, I went to grab something, & the whole cart started to tip fowrdard! I caught it, & never did it again.

  • C. Lee Reed March 22, 2014, 1:11 pm

    Great information and scary situation. I have a teen now so limited car seat use! Although we didn’t use the car seat in carts when she was younger, we did have a scary incident when we thought the handle latch was firmly locked in position and realized it wasn’t, or it failed.
    Essentially, we picked the car seat up off the floor with Beloved in it, the handle latch pivoted to the top and dumped our baby on the floor. Thankfully, she was in a snowsuit and the padding kept her from being harmed. It didn’t stop her, however, from screaming for an hour in the airport. Yes we were traveling on a military flight overseas. When we got home, she spent the evening being watched at the local hospital and ultimately she was fine.
    Believe me parents, you never want to see or hear the thump of your child’s little face hitting the ground. Do whatever you can to protect them and others, if they aer not aware. I’d rather seem rude then negligent.
    C. Lee Reed recently posted…Travel with Kids made easyMy Profile

  • mommy to two March 22, 2014, 1:23 pm

    Not sure why your baby flew that far….? I mean if you were pushing the cart you should be able to at least catch the baby…or if you were pulling the cart…why did you hit the pot hole in the parking lot in the first place? You had to have known it was going to wake up the baby…come on now…I sit my children on here all the time and even if i hit a pot hole my baby has never gone flying through the air…what were you doing running with the cart or did you just let the cart go and ride alone where you had no control.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 22, 2014, 1:23 pm

    C. Lee Reed, thank you for bringing this comment over to the blog from G+.

    This is another good point about car seat safety. When you pick up the seat, make sure the handle is locked into position before picking it up. It can look like it is in the right place, but not be locked. And I believe babies should always be buckled when in a car seat, too.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith March 22, 2014, 1:32 pm

    mommy of two, actually, I was not just running. I was also skipping and doing cartwheels. Plus I was juggling! Then, yes, I admit it, I just shoved that cart as hard as I could to see it is whiz through the parking lot. Fun!!!

    Or, physics.
    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…The Obvious Thing About Childhood AccidentsMy Profile

  • karat March 22, 2014, 3:53 pm

    I have sincerely considered the possibility that a small percentage of your readers (mommy to two, for example) are actually brain dead.

    mommy to two, my your children have an inequality of blessings in order to survive you.

  • Kayla March 22, 2014, 5:45 pm

    Hello everyone,
    First off I want to introduce myself before expressing my opinion. I am the proud mother of my one and only daughter who is 3 months old. My take on the car seat argument is this…yes I do see your point Allison about how these accidents can happen and this is YOUR blog so yes you are completely intitled to speak your mind about an issue which you feel strongly about…no one can knock you for that and I don’t know why people are trying…your simply offering your experience in hopes to save other moms from the same experience or even worse a tragic one..the fact is people are going to argue because there is always that complex on different styles of parenting you know breast feeding vs bottle…parents who’s children have bumper pads and blankets on their cribs while others don’t to try and avoid SIDS…and the list of different sinerios goes on..different parents have different styles of parenting I’ll say honestly I’ve had my daughter on the cart a time or two most of the time she goes inside the cart rather than on top but that’s rare mostly she gets carried by hand in the car seat itself I do however feel some disagreement with those who say the car seat can only be used in the car like your supposed to never take it out ever but why the holder on infant car seats that’s what it’s for so you can carry it which does happen a lot granted her daddy carries her in stores more or the time because he is stronger than I am now with all this being said if my daughter was ever put in a buggy in the way you described it was for ten mins tops and like I said only a handful of times but carrying her in the car seat has just been the best way for us..not to say my daughter never uses her stroller she does other places besides the store and larger places such as the mall…it’s just too time consuming to use it in store since we don’t have one that snaps onto the stroller unfortunately especially when we can just carry her one of us while the other shops but I guess this only applies to couples with a kid who can find time go shopping together before work and such…honestly I don’t like putting her in the buggy it just makes me nervous but I do have a cover for when she gets old enough she just can’t completely support her head quite yet..there’s always a mentality of well my parents did this stuff for years and we turned out fine but there are also ways to avoid accidents such as that if only you knew..now if someone came up to me a stranger trying to tell me how to parent my child I’d be mad but what you did is simply express your opinion and back it up with facts..which are accurate I’ve never known my daughters seat to snap onto the buggy even the few times I did do it that way..I want to try a baby carrier or sling or something to see how she likes it because after all her safety is most important and we have to put our kids first…I do feel that Dick and Sam made men look ignorant when it comes to raising kids and that’s not fair…my fiancé is a wonderful father he learned so much during my pregnancy as much or more than I did..not all fathers are so involved and caring about her child’s safety obviously with the comments those two made but not all men are ignorant and I hate for those two I make the men that do care look like ignorant morons…I’m not knocking the mothers who choose to put the car seat on there to each his/her own it just helps to have the information and testimony of another parent…me I know I’d do anything to make sure my daughter was safe..and also I saw someone say it bothers her when the groceries are put in the car before the baby in the carriage I agree I ALWAYS put my daughter in the car first before any groceries that’s how kids get kidnapped or something that’s just common sense people…as for Jackie your also an idiot saying if people can’t get kids around in a shopping cart properly then they should just keep their legs closed then you quote Darwinism I bet you 97% of these people are Christians including myself this is about car seats and shopping carts not your opinion on evolution just ignorance..but Allison you sure presented a lot of good points and surely helped a lot of people despite the few you may have ticked off…overall good message. I myself will definitely think twice next time..thanks for sharing.

  • Christal Clark March 22, 2014, 9:35 pm

    Oh man..i am glad ur little one at the time was not harmed..i do this and now i wont be anylonger. I often wondered if it clicked down right or was i gonna turn around and my 4 month daughter be in the floor. No i wont ever do this again. Thanks for the information !

  • Sadielady3 March 22, 2014, 9:37 pm

    I had to make a post on this simply because the human factor seems to be forgotten by the nasty commentors on this post. I will explain.

    When I was in college, my best friend hailed from a town about 30 minutes from my dad’s house. Because I didn’t drive at that time and the college was over three hours from my dad’s house, I hitched a ride with her to go home for Christmas. The weather was terrible and her little hatchback car was around fifteen years old and had visible rust on the outside. Still, we were foolish enough to make the trek home. The weather was so bad about forty five minutes in that we stopped at a rest stop to call my dad to see if the weather was as bad out his way. I couldn’t reach him so we got back in the car and pulled out on the highway. About three minutes later we were at a dead stop behind a massive thirty car pile up. Had we not stopped we would have been in the accident for sure. My friend’s car was condemned for being structurally unsafe three days later. My dad was visibly shaken when he picked me up from the exit we met him at. He told me he had just been sitting there scared to death that we were in the accident and that he knew down deep that if we had been, we would have been killed in that car. This was before finding out exactly how unsafe my friend’s car was. It would not have mattered that he didn’t know how unsafe the car was had I been killed. He would have spent the rest of his life wishing he had told me to wait for the weather to clear up or wishing he had made the drive himself to get me in his relatively safe vehicle with a more experienced driver behind the wheel. Most parents have their kids carpool with friends when coming home from breaks. It makes logical sense if their children go to a school far away from home. He didn’t know how bad the weather really was out our way and there were no cell phones back then to keep in touch. He did nothing inherently wrong but still would have felt guilty had something gone wrong.

    The truth is, whether people believe it or not, any parent who winds up with an injured or worse child due to a shopping cart mishap isn’t going to care that they were not told about it- they will still likely spend the rest of their life wishing that they had not done it. The information in this blog is intended to avoid that type of remorse. Will it be worse if a parent reads this, dismisses this, and then it does happen to him? Of course, but at the end of the day, an injured or dead child will trump everything else. There will always be guilt on the part of the parent who has a dead child. This is evident through countless accounts of parents who lost their children through freak unavoidable accidents that truly were no one’s fault. Every action we do has risks. Putting a car seat on top of a cart has risks associated with it. Even if they were designed to be put on a cart, they could malfunction in some way or the entire cart could tip over. As far as I can see, this post was simply meant to tell a story and share the information the writer discovered so that people actually know the risks. At the end of the day, how you choose to manage your children when you grocery shop is truly your own business. But just as I would want someone to speak up to me if I were buying a cereal for my children that had been recalled due to some sort of contamination, I would want someone to speak up about the danger of me using a device improperly. None of us knows everything and we live in a dangerous world. When will we get to the point where someone can share information that is designed to help us avoid heartache or disaster without attacking that person?

  • E March 22, 2014, 10:03 pm

    I understand how horrifying this is, but car seats are made to survive car accidents to keep your infant safe. I am sure that in this case it is like a car accident, and that is why the infant was safe. It is a tragic story, but there is no way i would put an infant in a cart, even with the cart protector if he/she cannot sit up properly in the cart. Car seats were made to use in carts to keep your little one from other aspects, like hitting that bump with your child in that cart and they bump their face on the cart becsuse they cannot sit right in the cart. Second if the baby is in the swaddle that keeps them close to your body, and you are in a hurry and you trip!!!!!! Wow you just landed on baby. Think people. Car seats are tested to keep babies safe!!!!

  • Donna March 22, 2014, 10:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information. I am a Child Passenger Safety Technician Instructor and also a Childbirth Educator and this is information that we share in all of our Baby Safety classes as well as at all of our Carseat Fitting Stations. This warning is in the instruction manual of the child’s carseat and is usually marked on shopping carts also. Too bad some parents feel that they know more than the people who design the carseats and shopping carts. This is how children get hurt.

  • Heather March 22, 2014, 10:32 pm

    I’m on my 4th child, and I thank you for this post. I’ve done this with all 4 babies… And now no more. About 6 years ago my 4 year old tumbled a cart, while standing on the side, and luckily I caught my baby as the whole cart tumped over. I’ve also seen my infant seat slide, move, and generally shift unsafely from all types of store carts. I’d like to say I keep my baby safe by keeping one hand on the seat at all times, but….
    Let’s be realistic….. I have a crazy, unpredictable 3 year old right now, and I’m not taking any more chances. Many thanks.

  • Dana Knight March 22, 2014, 11:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience. You crack me up!! Obviously it doesn’t bother you regarding the negative nellies.. lol.. Your experience will I’m sure save quite a few childrenans parents hurts & heartaches.. God Bless 🙂

  • Jessica Smith March 23, 2014, 2:04 am

    Okay so my husband and I were getting groceries 2 weeks ago and t u is happened with my 4 month old! Except my hubby was pushing the cart in the parking lot and I was walking next to him. He hit a little pothole and i fortunately caught the carseat in midair!!! So scary!!!!!!!!! We now use a moby wrap and it is so much better! Not only do I not have to worry about my lo safety but their is such more room in my shopping cart now too!

  • Dina March 23, 2014, 6:37 am

    When my kids were little we did not have such devices. (They are 32, 27 and 24) I put my child’s car seat in the buggy and the next youngest in the seat and fastened him in. I then pushed that buggy around and drug the one with the food behind me. It was always the safest way to go for us and I think too many new “inventions” lully young parents into a false sense of security. I am so happy that in your case everyone was unharmed and that you are using it as a teaching tool to spread the word to those who are unaware, such a blessing to have the opportunity to avoid a tragedy.

  • Tracy March 23, 2014, 6:54 am

    At first read, I saw concerned Mom. Then the add-ons, wow. Instead of talking about the laws of physics, how about statistics? Also, grocery shopping while juggling 6 kids to avoid missing family time? Really, the family can’t make do for 1 hour a week? Bad, bad message to girls and moms who feel like they have to do it all:(

  • Jackie March 23, 2014, 12:01 pm

    I just wanted to share that I personally have witnessed this happen on 3 different occasions in my 36 years of life.. First time as a young working mother in a retail store I witnessed this happen to someone as I left work and heard commotion behind me an saw this happen the first time and is the reason why I never did put any of my four childrens car seats there.. It can happen to anyone and I have witnessed it several times and so I would too recommend no one do this..

  • Shannon March 23, 2014, 12:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing! We did it with ours until he was a toddler. I saw so many others doing it I assumed it was the thing to do and never consulted the manual about it.

  • Bethany March 23, 2014, 1:33 pm

    I did this with my now 9 year old son. His seat DID clip on, and pretty securely. Though I didn’t know the risks dangers at the time. I’m just lucky nothing happened to him. I knew better by the time my daughter was born.

    For those who say their seats click, mine did too. HOWEVER, the carts are not made to have the weight high up like that. They are MORE LIKELY to topple over with that weight than without it. So in putting the seat on the cart, it creates a second risk, maybe not that the seat will go flying, but that then entire cart can go toppling over, dumping whatever is in your cart possibly onto your infant. Add to that, that you now have to replace the seat (any accident and they are no longer considered safe, this includes toppling from a cart) and rush your infant to the ER to make sure they didn’t get any kind of injury that you can’t see from being jostled.

    I get that whole, but it’s easier, nothing’s ever happened before etc. But you wouldn’t let your kids be in the car without a seatbelt, or ride their bike without a helmut even if you had never had a serious accident. This is the same, it’s just not worth the risk that something serious COULD happen just for convenience.

    I wouldn’t want to explain to the Dr at the ER, that I KNEW I shouldn’t have put my kid at risk, but it was just….easier, and nothing had happened before, so I figured it was OK. Same way I wouldn’t want to explain to a cop, well it’s just easier not to buckle my child in, she has a tantrum if I do, it’s easier to drive with her unbuckled. Convenience is NOT a reason to put our children at risk. And while I don’t usually offer free advice to new parents, this is one of the few things that I HAVE been known to go up to a complete stranger and just offer a warning. I would hate to see that same mom again in the parking lot crying over an injured/dead baby knowing I could have helped to prevent such a tragedy.

  • Vicki sanders March 23, 2014, 1:03 pm

    I just had to write in. Years ago when my son was 4 and my daughter was 3 months old we were food shopping. My son decided to stand on the side of the shopping cart which had a decent amount of items in it. Well the cart flipped over on him!!! Everything went all over. Thank goodness I was wearing my infant in my baby carrier. If she was in her car seat in the cart I don’t want to imagine what happened. My son on the other hand was rushed to the hospital to check for a confusion he was dizzy and confused. He turned out ok. But every time my kids try to even get on the cart I freak out and have flashbacks and seeing other kids doing the same gets me so worried. So keep off the cart at all times.

  • Lynn Hammer March 23, 2014, 2:06 pm

    I love that you shared your story. I’m always telling people about car seat safety and honestly they usually don’t listen but at least I gave them the information to use their car seat properly. You can have the best car seat made but if you don’t use it correctly you can potentially be putting your babies in harms way. I do believe that car seat manuals state to NOT put the car seat on top of the shopping cart. I know mine did.

  • Jeanette March 23, 2014, 2:55 pm

    I was widowed at a young age, with two babies…a 6-week old and an 18-month old. Because I had no one to help me with grocery shopping (or anything for that matter) I had to find ways of doing things by myself. I never felt comfortable putting my baby’s car seat in the seat of the grocery cart, so I would put him into the actual basket of the cart. I would put his older brother into ANOTHER cart, in the seat (he was old enough to sit up). I would then push the older child (so that I could make sure he wouldn’t stand up in the seat…and pull the other cart that had the baby in the basket. I put groceries in the front cart. Yes, it was awkward at first…but it wasn’t too difficult to maneuver. I received some funny looks, but it really didn’t matter. Those babies were what was left of my entire world…keeping them safe was priority. We are very resourceful when we need to be…but shortcuts are not always good to take. When it comes to our most precious children, sometimes there are no second chances. Thank you for sharing this info. I will share it with my, now grown, children so they will have this information as it regards my grand babies. 🙂

  • Jennifer March 23, 2014, 6:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I am a new mom and wasn’t sure what to do about shopping with a cart and a stroller so I too but my baby in the infant seat on the seat portion on the cart. My greatest fear is that my baby falls out of that cart or is stolen when you look away for something because they are just sitting there easily picked up. Thank you for some options with the seat covers and carriers, I didn’t know that seat covers came with infant inserts. I know first hand that having a baby injured and staying in the NICU is a very stressful experience and don’t ever what yo do that again with a stupid mistake as putting the infant seat in the seat portion of a cart.

  • Robyn March 23, 2014, 8:24 pm

    Honestly, I am a 19 year old FIRST TIME mom. And I would never let my daughters car seat fly off of a cart! No matter how I was shopping. I DO NOT put my daughter on the sealart where a toddler would sit, I put her on the basket and make sure she can’t go anywhere! I guess I just see it as ridiculous!

  • Crazy lady March 23, 2014, 9:15 pm

    Really I do think you are projecting here, however shouldn’t we be challenging the car seat manufacturer to create and produce a safe base for our car seat to work with these shopping carts? Who has ever wanted to wake a sleeping child to pull them out of their infant carrier?

  • Tara C March 23, 2014, 10:33 pm

    Thank you for sharing this (I shared the link on my Facebook wall as well)… my youngest (of four) just got big enough that he can sit in the seat with the seatbelt on. But up until that point, if I had to go shopping alone with him for our family of six, I always put his car seat in the basket of one cart and pulled another cart along behind me for the groceries. Awkward, yes, but I didn’t trust having his seat up on top – it just didn’t seem safe. A carrier or wrap is a great alternative too, unless you’re grace-impaired like I am – I went the two-cart method because I was afraid of falling in a slippery parking lot or on a slippery spot on the floor of the store while babywearing (I live in northern Michigan, and we’ve had a very icy, snowy winter – plus, like I said, I’m just clumsy in general). Granted, I’m extra careful while walking anywhere with my baby, and have never fallen while carrying/wearing him (probably thanks to that extra caution), but as your story shows – accidents happen. It only takes one accident for lives to change – or end – forever.
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  • Tara C March 23, 2014, 10:45 pm

    Also, with all the people sharing their negative comments – I just don’t get why there’s so much negativity when you share advice that could save a child’s life. Last summer, after yet another “baby forgotten in a hot vehicle story,” I shared a tip I’d read somewhere – about leaving a stuffed animal in the baby’s car seat when he/she isn’t in the vehicle, and moving that stuffed animal up to the front seat when the baby’s in the car seat. That way you have a visual reminder that the baby’s in the back. SO MUCH NEGATIVITY. I had people telling me I should give my baby up for adoption if I had to resort to a tip like that in order to not forget my baby in the car. (And I actually don’t even use that tip myself; I have those extra mirrors so that I can see my baby every time I look in the rearview). Nope, I can’t imagine every forgetting my child in the car; I’m sure those other parents couldn’t imagine it either. Until it happened to them. But the amount of venom I got spewed at me for sharing that tip was unbelievable. And keeping a stuffed animal in the car isn’t even expensive or inconvenient in any way. Some people just figure they’re infallible, they’ll never screw up, they’ll never make a mistake like “hurrying through a parking lot” or have an accident (like someone else bumping into the shopping cart and not being able to react fast enough to grab the tumbling baby seat even though they have a hand resting on the seat). So I feel for you with all the negativity you’re getting for writing this post in hopes of saving someone else’s child from injury, or worse.
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  • Bethany March 24, 2014, 12:17 am

    Crazy Lady, what you fail to realize is that THE CART is not made to have that kind of weight that high up….The base is too narrow, even if the CAR seat companies were to create a seat that latches properly, it would still not then save a child from being knocked over when the car topples because someone bumps it from the side.

    I don’t get why people get so upset at the idea of a wee bit of adjusting to this, it’s only a few months of a baby’s life. Why is it a CAR SEAT company’s job to make sure that parents can use their product in a manner that it’s not designed for, and wouldn’t make it any safer anyway??

    My cart gets bumped from the side at the store FAR MORE than it goes over bumps or from front/back…the weight being high on a cart like that makes it more likely to fall over to the side, the same way a big rig has a higher risk of toppling over going around a tight curve than a sports car.

  • Anonymouse March 24, 2014, 1:22 am

    I am ashamed to say, I can understand the anger and defensiveness some of these moms (and dads!) feel. When I had my first child, I was so insecure about my parenting skills, that any advice I was given was taken as a direct and personal attack. I would get maaaad! Just like some previous posters who attack you, for bravely sharing a story that is probably very distressing to you. Thankfully, that is in the past. I now have two kids, and am grateful for any information or any tips I am given. If I’m unsure of something, I will Google it myself, later. But I’m grateful that some kind stranger stepped out onto a limb to show concern for the two people most precious to me. Thank you for this post. My kids are no longer small enough for a carseat, but I will pass this on through Facebook for those who have small babies.
    And, for those superhumans who are able to maintain a deathgrip on their baby’s carseat, while using mind control to keep their toddlers on their best behavior, using their x-ray vision to see through their carseat (and their mental computers to calculate any topographical variation that may be in their paths)…. Why are you all ignoring the fact that this may make your carseat unsafe to use in a car? That fact alone should be enough to stop someone from using their carseat in this manner.

  • Nicole March 24, 2014, 7:36 am

    When my oldest (now 6) was a few weeks old I also had a situation with a cart in a parking lot. It was a small cart and I had his seat latched into the cart. I didn’t buy anything at the store so the cart had nothing in the basket other than the diaper bag. I was In a hurry to get somewhere and was rushing through the parking lot pushing the cart. The front of the cart hit a pot hole and the seat did not come out if the cart. The entire cart tipped over to one side. The seat was still latched to the cart and since it was top heavy it was going down. I was able to catch it and my son was fine. I did continue to put him in the top of the cart and I did the same with my youngest (now 1). If it seemed unstable in the cart I would put it in the basket. Any time I would go through a parking lot I would hold on to the car seat while pushing the cart. After reading all of the testimonies I will definitely be more safe with the next one. Thank you for sharing your stories!

  • lovealwaysmommy March 24, 2014, 4:35 pm

    First off I’d like to thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m due with my second daughter in April and will definitely rethink about using the carseat in a cart period! I’ll just deal with using amy double stroller or a carrier when needed!
    But I’d also like to say, to the women/moms that are complaining about how much harder or more frustrating it would be, wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry???? Call me crazy but Id much rather it be harder to deal with or take longer than have this happen to my precious baby and risk her getting hurt or even worse, her life!!

  • Ken March 24, 2014, 6:50 pm

    To the author of this article – thank you. It amazes me how people react to warnings. “You’re rude for telling someone how to raise their kids.” “This was a freak accident.” What do you think an accidental death is? Something normal? These safety warnings are meant to prevent ACCIDENTS. My sister watched a child stand up in a cart – like many of your toddlers do. The child lost her balance and fell to her death at the Santa Rosa downtown Mall. A freak accident. Hindsight is 20/20. Try to learn something. We’re not talking about a dozen eggs being dropped on the floor – we’re talking about your child. One last thought – What did the farmer say when the pig died? Never did that before.

  • Bridget March 24, 2014, 7:24 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I see this all the time and parents think it’s ok… Hope this gets shared around far and wide!!

  • Kitten March 24, 2014, 11:00 pm

    Why are parents so against baby wearing while shopping. Why ignorantly continue to put your child at risk. If you are going shopping grab your dang sling/ergo/moby what ever and put your kid in it.
    1. they will not be as fussy because (god forbid) you are actually touching them! OH MY!
    2.Its safe.


    and don’t get me started on back problems. WOMAN UP.
    I have a terrible curve in my spine from scoliosis, and have always had back issues, But I keep my core strong and have worn my daughter since infancy to age 3. I still wear her, and its not easy, but I tough it out because I have one job, ONE JOB, and thats to keep her safe.

    Nuff said.

  • crazymom March 25, 2014, 6:41 am

    I totally agree with this!! I have been telling my sister this for years and she still doesn’t understand how the car seat doesn’t belong on the shopping cart. I have gone to the point of pulling my hair out because she won’t listen. Now if someone would write an article about not putting an infant carrier on an upside down restaurant high chair, she still doesn’t get that one either. Its a constant battle to go to restaurants with her. Thanks again for the information, I’m sending this to my sister asap! 🙂

  • Heather Pehrson March 25, 2014, 2:54 pm

    I read this post about a year ago and since then have had my fifth baby. Although I had over the last 15 years routinely put my other four babies’ carseats on top of the shopping cart seats, I have not once done so with my fifth child – because of this blog post. I told Alison that and she asked me to share my experience via the comment section here on the blog. She specifically asked me to address why I decided to stop.

    I’m a college educated, mid-thirties, professionally and politically involved woman. I don’t often make major behavior shifts from internet blog posts. Alison’s question made me really think. After a few days, here is the conclusion I have come to.

    I changed my behavior because I trusted Alison. I don’t know her personally, I was connected to her via Facebook by another women who I greatly admire and respect. I found Alison to be articulate and well researched. I don’t agree with everything she writes but I find most of it thought provoking and interesting. So, when I read this blog post I listened. Even though I had of course read it dozens of times before from baby books and car seat manuals, I listened this time. A credit to her integrity and her writing. A credit to the power of positive influence.

    Alison also asked me how I made shopping work, without placing the car seat on the shopping cart seat. When I made that decision, I made it really firmly in my mind and I’ve just made it work. Awkwardly oft times, and unbalanced, but just made it work.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 25, 2014, 3:43 pm

    Heather Pehrson, thank you so much for sharing your story! I appreciate it.

    The only think I don’t understand is this:

    “I don’t agree with everything she writes…”


    Alison Moore Smith recently posted…Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken TacosMy Profile

  • Betty Anne March 27, 2014, 12:30 am

    I don’t have kids (yet), but I have over 20 years experience working with children (infants through age 5). I loved what you had to say and can’t believe how many angry comments you’ve received! People just can’t handle being “told” what to do, even if it could possibly save the life of their child! And others are just trolls, posting their comments just to rile others up. I just can’t understand why so many parents can’t understand that the carriers are called “Car” seats for a reason…because they belong in the car. I would so much prefer to wake a sleeping baby to safely wear her, than risk hurting her or possibly killing her due to a spill off the cart…not to mention ruining the carseat and making it useless in a car accident.

    One small suggestion though…maybe edit your original post to read something to the effect of “I wish I had this post already written so I could have given you the URL”, instead of saying that you had already given the mother the piece of paper with the URL. It may end some of the confusion, leaving you more time to respond to the more important comments and questions. 🙂

  • Jordan Bridges March 27, 2014, 8:04 am

    I am a mom-to-be, and I just wanted to thank you for this post. I have seen mom’s do this all the time and never thought twice about it. I had no idea the danger it poses! So thank you for opening my eyes.

    Also, just wanted to share something with those who don’t believe that this is indeed a safety issue. I bought my new Chicco infant carrier/stroller combo last night and found this written in the manual in big, yellow letters with a huge danger symbol next to it. It stated, “NEVER place carrier in top of shopping cart. Carrier will not be secure and could fall, causing injury to child.” This manual says it was printed in November 2013, so it’s very current. If the own manufacturers of the product say its unsafe to place the carrier in a shopping cart, I’d have to agree.

    Just wanted to share my findings. Thanks again!

  • Alison Moore Smith March 27, 2014, 10:22 am

    Betty Anne, good idea. I will probably do that — when I get caught up! I honestly thought people would get it, given that I couldn’t have magically created a post on the spot, from the store. :/
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  • Brook March 28, 2014, 10:17 pm

    OMG!!! I didn’t know this. thank you so much for posting! I did that all the time!!! I’m just glad my daughter didn’t fall!!! Thank you so very much.

  • Cindi March 31, 2014, 2:05 pm

    A response to simplybeckey:

    I do work at Safe-Strap. And I am very proud to be a part of a company that is focused on keeping children safe while shopping. I look at the data from the CPSC (my previous post) and it is heartbreaking to see how many infants are injured this way every year. Fortunately moms like Alison are sharing their stories and getting the word out about this danger.

    As for the center of gravity: Safe-Strap Company performs extensive product testing using an independent laboratory. Stability testing has been performed on Safe-Docks on a multitude of shopping carts, the carts that are used in our nation’s largest retailers. This ensures that Safe-Dock does not adversely affect the shopping cart’s stability and that the combination of a shopping cart & Safe-Dock is safe.

    My original post was just letting mom’s know that Safe-Dock is a safe alternative and that stores across the country are adopting Safe-Dock. Safe-Strap cannot sell its products to shoppers. We only work with the retailers. For those who want more information on this danger, please see the CPSC Shopping Cart Alert http://www.cpsc.gov//PageFiles/122338/5075.pdf has some advice too.

  • Courtney Mitchell April 2, 2014, 3:17 pm

    I had an incident when my son was very young. He was in his carrier on the top of the seat of a shopping cart, just like you describe. My daughter was an old two (I don’t think she’d turned 3 yet) and was seated in the shopping basket. We were at Sam’s Club, using one of their plastic shopping carts when the part that held the front wall (the wall that attaches to the seat basket and flips inward to let another cart stack) to the bottom of the cart, broke. The wall flipped outward, toward me at the base and my son and his carrier went flying into the basket of the cart, right on top of my daughter’s head. No one was seriously injured, but they were scared and crying. I reported the incident to management and they immediately removed all plastic shopping carts from their store. They only use metal ones, now.
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  • Melanie April 12, 2014, 10:55 am

    Interesting since my car seats manual says I can latch it into a shopping cart. This being said I was never stupid enough to put it there if it did not latch securely. With shopping carts with a double row of metal across the front I found the latch wouldn’t close properly on the shopping cart. With older and smaller shopping carts with the flimsy flip open child seat I found that the spacing between the latch on the car seat and groove in the back wouldn’t fit the shopping cart. With shopping carts that worked I would latch the car seat in and if I could pivot the car seat forward then it wasn’t secure even though the seat was latched, the back of the seat had to wedge onto the back of the seat in the shopping cart as well as the latch clipping to the front, then I would grab it and wiggle it to make sure it was secure just like you do in you car ((DUH)). The worst things in the world are to judge others when you don’t know the whole story (you would have looked at me and cringed without first finding out if I had properly secured the seat), to be completely one sided and biased in any opinion, and to assume. There is a lot of this going on between your article and the comments. If you think risking your kids is OK you shouldn’t have kids and if you think you as a parent are to suffer through everything without finding a more reasonable solution for everyone then you are in for a life time of exhaustion. There are solutions here that warrant a second look. I only shop at places that I know the child seat will fit the shopping cart, when I know it won’t I carry baby and bring the antibacterial shopping cart cover, when I go to the farmers market where there is no strap in the seat I wear a belt and put it around my child. Use your brains people!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 12, 2014, 11:47 am

    Melanie, could you let me know what brand/model of car seat you are using? I’ve been looking for year for carseats that actually say they can be safely placed atop a shopping cart seating area and, so far — in every case — the owner who thought it said that was wrong. (It’s particularly interesting, given the car seat manufacturer has no way of assessing the type of shopping cart being used.)
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  • Lanea June 26, 2014, 9:43 am

    In my own experience, i have never had a problem with a car seat flying out of a shopping cart. I have a problem getting it out of the buggie. The car seat I used on my little one clamped to the shopping cart like it would the base in the car. I’m unsure if its just the brand I had but many of pot holes were ran over and never a flying baby.

  • M January 13, 2015, 10:03 pm

    I think the main point most moms are upset with is being criticized and judged by someone for how they handle a situation. Not everyone will agree with what your saying and its hard enough having friends, family, and strangers judging us. Then to read a post about you telling a social network about how you saw this mother in a grocery store. I understand your intentions are good, and come from a personal story, but maybe you should have posted just talking about safety concerns with the shopping carts and not have made it personal. I don’t disagree with your thoughts and concerns, but you came off judge mental of moms who do this.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 26, 2015, 8:31 am

    Ah, but would as many people have read it, M? As it stands this post has over 80,000 facebook shares alone. The point is to let people know about the dangers, not to write yet another ignored “car seat safety” post. For the love of pete, grocery cars have pictures on them telling parents not to put car seats in the front of the basket. But people still do it every day.

    For the record, we all judge every day, all day long. And we should. You judged me as being too judgmental in your own comment. It’s reality. We all need to deal with it.
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  • Kelsi March 2, 2015, 5:13 am

    I tried putting the car seat on the front of the cart with my first, and it just wobbled way too much for comfort. I then just started putting the car seat in the main portion of the cart. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for groceries, but it feels a lot safer. My second has never been balanced on top, just a little crowded in the bottom because of groceries :). There wouldn’t be any room on too anyways because that’s where the toddler sits! Thank you for posting your experience! I’m so glad your child was okay.

  • Tara March 2, 2015, 5:32 am

    So glad your story has a happy ending.
    My first child was born critically ill and spent loads of time in the hospital. While he was there, the unfortunate happened to another family who placed their 8 month old on the upper part of the cart while in an infant carrier. Their story ended tragically. I vowed no matter how desperate, I would never place my child in that situation. So avoidable but they didn’t know until it was too late. I see so many moms who place their baby in the top of the cart. When I had my second, an associate approached me asking why don’t I just place the baby (in her carrier) on the top of the cart. She looked at me as if I were crazy when I told her why I’ll never put my child in a car seat up there. Her response was something along the line of “wow how times have changed… When I was a kid, we thawed chicken outside in the summer and ate cookie dough. Now parents won’t even put their kid in the cart the right way”. I just walked away.

  • jennifer March 2, 2015, 6:41 am

    What point are you moms missing ???? Even if you hold the seat while pushing the cart…thus DAMAGES THE MECHANISM of your baby seat!!! There’s a high chance if in an accident your seat will not hold into the base and seat and baby will go flying.

  • Laura wright March 2, 2015, 9:49 am

    So, to echo what some others said, I have done this hundreds of times and nothing bad has have ever happened.
    However, after reading this, I will never ever do it again!
    I would pray that people’s pride would not get in the way of their child’s best interest. Unfortunately this happens in so many cases, more than just ones like this.
    When it comes to our kids, we should always be willing to humble up and listen. Take it or don’t but at least listen X it may save you kids life one day!

  • Mom of three March 2, 2015, 9:54 am

    to all of you saying that there’s not enough room for a car seat in a cart and groceries, wear your babies!!! They will be happier, and so will you. I used to put the car seat on the top of the cart as well with my first child. Over time, I learned that practice was unsafe, and I learned that wearing my babies was a much happier experience for all of us.

  • michelle March 2, 2015, 10:07 am

    This isn’t a freak accient sort of thing. It happened to me at Sam’s Club almost 12 years ago. My son, was 2 months old at the time. He was in his car seat, buckled in thank God for that, the handle was down. We turned the corner in the cart, no we weren’t going too fast or turning to sharp, we were shopping. The car seat slid to the right side and tumbled off the side of the cart. It happened so fast. I don’t know how but my husband caught the seat just before it hit the floor.

    I stop people in stores and tell them my story. I don’t care if they think I’m rude or annoying. Do you know why? because some people have thanked me. Some people have removed the carseat immediately from the top of the cart. Some people are smart enough to know if it happened to her it could happen to me.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 2, 2015, 10:32 am

    Tara, thanks for sharing your story. Just look at some of the comments on this post. Lot’s of people can’t handle the truth. :/
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  • Alison Moore Smith March 2, 2015, 10:34 am

    Laura wright, thanks. I agree it’s pride, probably with a dash of guilt thrown in. It’s hard to admit that you (unknowingly) put your child in danger. How much worse, though, to continue to do it when you have the info? I’m glad to hear when someone who does the same thing I did can hear the message.

  • Alison Moore Smith March 2, 2015, 10:38 am

    I’m so glad you noted, michelle, that you weren’t racing down the aisle. For some reason many people have assumed this happened to me only because I was extremely careless. I was walking at a brisk pace. Not jogging, not running, not even race walking. I wasn’t meandering or strolling, but I wasn’t dashing through the parking lot mindlessly.

    As you said, it happens in an instant even under normal conditions.
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  • Marcole Young March 2, 2015, 11:42 am

    My daughter is 7.5 and my son is 2 months old. Just yesterday I had Hunter in his car seat on top of the shopping cart and the little plastic seat that covers the bars for a toddler to sit on happened to be stuck up right. (Hope that makes sense 🙂 ) My daughter Paige pointed to the picture on that seat and said, “Mommy you are doing a big no no.” I asked her what she was talking about and she pointed to the picture. Sure enough it was a picture of exactly what I was doing with Hunter and his car seat with a BIG X threw it! Honestly, I brushed her off and said, “it’s ok.” And then today a friend posted your article. Wow maybe I need to listen to my 7 year old a little more often!! If she can read directions and thinks it’s unsafe maybe I should too!!!!!

  • Jessica March 2, 2015, 11:44 am

    My eldest, who is nearly 7 now, had a similar incident. We were leaving Walmart, heading out the door at a slight angle, and the uneven bump of the strip across the door threw the carrier off the top of the buggy. And because she had been fussy in the store & I had taken her out and snuggled her for a while, SHE WASN’T STRAPPED IN.
    I firmly believe the door greeter that day was an angel as she dove and caught my poor daughter before she managed to hit the floor. I have NEVER put another carrier on top of a cart, and I OFTEN stop people in stores with a carrier on top of a cart and tell them this story.
    It is NOT rude to share this link; it could save a child’s life!

  • christina March 2, 2015, 6:45 pm

    I love this! Never will I put my child in a car seat on a cart. Scary. So happy your child was unharmed. I wish eveeyone knew about this

  • Jerry March 2, 2015, 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the good advice. My wife wouldn’t listen to me but cried when she read this. Problem solved!

  • Gmerrill March 3, 2015, 6:14 pm

    This is one of the reasons why I have a Chicco car seat – it doesn’t have notches on the bottom that latch into the car seat base, they are on the sides, so it doesn’t fit into the top of the car seat – not that I would do that anyway, but I love that no one else who watches my child might take him to the store and try to put the car seat on the front of the cart. So much better to be safe than have convenience!

  • Carolyn Geddes March 3, 2015, 9:40 pm

    Wow. I never knew this! But I have noticed moms put their baby in the basket and try to balance their groceries in the seat. I wondered why they didn’t just put the seat up top and skip the hassle. My kids are too big for carriers now but I’m sorry to say I’d be the one to shrug and say “that won’t happen to me though.” Keep spreading the word. Even the ones who argue have the seed of doubt planted and will think twice 🙂

  • Hilliary March 4, 2015, 9:32 am

    In 1991, we had a similar incident. I was pushing the cart (I was 13) to the car after my mom had finished shopping with my brother’s carrier on the top portion of the cart (and my little sister riding in the main cart). I hit a bump and the whole cart started to tumble over. I saved the cart, but my brother’s carrier came flying off and landed upside down in the middle of the road. His face to the pavement. It was scary, and luckily he was ok, but because of this I never loaded my carriers into the seat of the cart. I’ve placed the carrier in the main cart and completed my shopping if small enough, or I’ve dragged a cart behind me if necessary. I’ve used padded seat covers in carts, I wore my daughter a few times, I’ve even taken in the stroller and loaded my small shopping items into the bottom basket (or again dragged a cart for a major trip).

    We do so much research on keeping our babies healthy and safe, yet so often it is assumed that the car seat latch is designed to also work on a shopping cart because either manuals aren’t read or when they are read the manufacture neglected to address that one safety tidbit.

  • Janet February 22, 2019, 2:37 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! When I was growing up it seemed like EVERYONE did it so I assumed I should! But I never felt comfortable and ended up putting his carrier IN the cart anyway, on my own. I’m amazed that anyone would be angry (probably feeling guilty) or tell you NOT to share with someone, especially as you’ve plainly stated you’re non-judgemental in the way you share. You’re not telling anyone how to ‘raise their kids’ and it is SO dangerous!
    I feel like there should be a product to safely secure the carrier to the basket. Probably a long liability list though. Maybe a shopping cart attachment to a stroller lol!
    Thanks again!

  • Alison Moore Smith April 6, 2019, 11:54 am

    Janet, thank you for understanding my purpose. I sincerely appreciate the addition and that your intuition was so spot on!
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