This study investigates the effect of the 2004 US shopping cart safety standard on shopping-cart-related injuries among children younger than 15 years of age by retrospectively analyzing data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. An estimated 530 494 children younger than 15 years were treated in US emergency departments for shopping-cart-related injuries from 1990 to 2011, averaging 24 113 children annually. The most commonly injured body region was the head (78.1%). The annual concussion/closed head injury rate per 10 000 children increased significantly (P < .001) by 213.3% from 0.64 in 1990 to 2.02 in 2011. Although a shopping cart safety standard was implemented in the United States in 2004, the overall number and rate of injuries associated with shopping carts have not decreased. In fact, the number and rate of concussions/closed head injuries have continued to climb. Increased prevention efforts are needed to address these injuries among children.
Keywords: children; emergency department; falls; grocery carts; injury; pediatric; shopping carts; trauma.