COLUMBUS, OH — With more than 24,000 children visiting emergency rooms each year due to injuries resulting from shopping carts, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to pursue more stringent safety standards as well as to increase public awareness of the potential dangers of shopping cart-related injuries.

“A simple trip to the store should not turn into a trip to the emergency room,” Brown said. “With more than 24,000 children visiting the emergency room each year due to shopping cart-related injuries, more must be done to ensure tip-overs and falls are reduced. The Consumer Product Safety Commission must review current standards and take steps to prevent future injuries from occurring.” 

Brown was joined by Dr. Gary Smith, lead researcher and founder of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Smith highlighted findings from a recent study conducted at Nationwide Children’s Hospital that found that the number of concussions and closed-head injuries associated with shopping carts has continued to rise in recent years.  According to the study, one child is treated in an emergency room every twenty-two minutes for injuries sustained from a shopping cart. With nearly 70 percent of injuries resulting from falls, Dr. Smith pointed to recommendations made in the study to help improve shopping cart safety.

“Our research shows that the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety are not adequate,” said Gary Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Not only have the overall number of child injuries associated with shopping carts not decreased since implementation of the safety standards, but the number of concussions and closed head injuries is actually increasing. It is time we take action to protect our children by strengthening shopping cart safety standards with requirements that will more effectively prevent tip-overs and falls from shopping carts.”

Today, Brown released a letter to CPSC urging the agency to work with American Society for Testing and Materials’ (ASTM) voluntary standards committee, shopping cart manufacturers, retailers, and child safety experts to implement a series of changes designed to improve safety of carts. Specifically, the letter called on the CPSC to establish a stability performance test for shopping carts within the ASTM voluntary standards, increase public awareness about cart safety for children, and encourage the development and implementation of safer cart designs. Brown’s letter to the Commission can be found: HERE