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Shopping safely with kids
Rhonda Abilene
Rhonda, it can be fun and educational to share your shopping expeditions with your daughter. But children can fall out of shopping carts, pull down displays, get injured on escalators and get lost in stores. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission identified some safety precautions to take when shopping with children:

General advice:
  • Never leave children alone in the car or store. Always accompany them to the bathroom.
  • Keep children under age 4 in a stroller or holding your hand in the store and the parking lot.
  • Don't place children in the shopping cart. They can fall out or the cart can overturn and seriously injure them.
  • Don't let children play in clothing racks. They can pull them apart or topple them down.
  • Teach children to go to a store clerk or security guard if they get separated from you.

For children in strollers:
  • Use the safety straps to secure them.
  • Take care when hanging bags over stroller handles to prevent the stroller from tipping over.
  • Don't take the stroller on an escalator. Use the elevator instead.

On the escalator:
  • Make sure children don't have untied shoelaces, drawstrings, scarves or mittens that could get caught in the escalator.
  • Teach your child to face forward, hold the handrail and be ready to step off at the top. Don't let your child sit on or play on the steps.
Karen Sokal-Gutierrez M.D., M.P.H. Pediatrician