As a parent, you want to expose your child to as many experiences as possible. While there are a variety of ways to accomplish this objective, your local supermarket or big-box store provides many learning opportunities. Unfortunately, though, the young one in your family may sustain a life-altering injury from a shopping cart.

According to estimates, about 66 children require medical care after a shopping cart injury every single day. To keep your child safe, you should understand why cart injuries tend to happen.

Riding in the cart

While it is often fun to ride in a shopping cart, doing so can be dangerous. If your child falls from the cart, he or she may sustain a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage or another serious injury. Therefore, before placing your child in the cart, you should be sure to follow its safety instructions. If you have doubts about the safety of the shopping cart, it is probably better to ask your son or daughter to walk.

Standing near the cart

Your child does not have to be in a shopping cart to suffer an injury. Because carts are often heavy and awkward, your son or daughter may inadvertently collide with one. A cart’s wheels may also run over one of your child’s limbs or appendages. Thus, when using a shopping cart, you must always know the location of your child. Asking him or her to stand next to you and behind the cart may also help.

Returning the cart

When you are loading groceries into your vehicle, you may ask your child to return the cart to its corral. Doing so, though, may put your child at risk for a couple reasons. First, carts may become uncontrollable in rough parking lots. Even worse, when focusing on returning the cart, your child may not notice other dangers, like approaching vehicles.

Whether your child is riding in, standing near or returning a shopping cart, he or she has some risk of sustaining a life-altering injury. While the shopping center may bear some legal responsibility for your child’s injury, you can take some commonsense steps to keep him or her safe.