Having kids means that running errands that once seemed quick takes on an entirely new slower — and oftentimes more stressful — pace. And although we'd love to get in and out of the grocery store a little bit quicker, compromising our children's safety is never an option. We spoke with Sarah Tilton, Britax's Child Passenger Safety Technician and Immediate Past Chair of the National Child Passenger Safety Board, about whether or not it's ever OK to put your baby's car seat in a shopping cart, and she gave us a clear-cut answer: no.
"You will find warnings in car seat user guides that prohibit rear-facing-only car seats to be placed in the top seating area of a shopping cart," she said. And it's for good reason: "This makes the ability to knock that carrier off the shopping cart very easy, and often caregivers will release or loosen the harness outside the car, increasing the risk of injury."
If you find yourself stranded with no other options in sight, Sarah says that "the car seat should be placed in the low cargo area of the cart if at all," but only in a worst-case scenario. She recommends using a carrier, wearing the baby, shopping with another adult if possible, or putting a baby in a stroller before resorting to putting the carrier in the cart.