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Child Safety: Strollers and Shopping Carts

Table of Contents

Topic Overview

Taking your child out of the house allows him or her to have new experiences and interactions. You may start using a stroller as soon as your baby is born and continue to do so well into early childhood. You may also want your child to ride in a shopping cart when you go to stores. Only use well-maintained strollers and carts. And take some general precautions to avoid injuring your child:1


Shopping carts

Most injuries from shopping carts involve children younger than 5 years. Fractures, internal injuries, and concussions are the most common injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that the design of shopping carts be changed to help prevent cart tip-overs and falls from carts. Until shopping carts are safer, the AAP strongly recommends not to use them. Other options include using supervised in-store child play areas, taking another adult with you to watch your child while you shop, or using a stroller or wagon instead of a shopping cart.

If you choose to have your child ride in a shopping cart, children should not:2

Carriers designed to sit on top of the cart or built into it do not prevent a child from falling out. Avoid accidents by properly restraining your child at all times in a cart, and do not leave your child unattended, even for a moment.



  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2009). Keeping your child safe. In SP Shevlov et al., eds., Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, 5th ed., pp. 457–506. New York: Bantam.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (2006, reaffirmed 2009). Shopping cart–related injuries to children. Pediatrics, 118(2): 825–827. Also available online:

Credits for Child Safety: Strollers and Shopping Carts

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics

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