What might you be doing in the next 22 minutes?
Changing a diaper?
Laughing with your kid?
Going to a meeting?
Planning a trip?
I’ll bet, “Going to the hospital for a shopping cart accident” didn’t even hit your top 100 list of “Things to do in the next 22 minutes”! But a child goes to the ER every 22 minutes for shopping cart mishaps here in the good old U.S. of A, according to research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
The majority of injuries are in kids under 4 years, with 70% being falls out of the cart, followed by injuries from running into a cart or the cart tipping over.
The authors suggest that the safer carts are the ones where the child is sitting low to the ground, and the operative word is “sitting”…not cavorting, dancing, swinging or racing, etc.
Another study reported in Archives of Diseases of Children told of a British study on burns. About ¾ of burns were in kids under 5 years with the most common age being 1 year olds. This is the age where they are starting to move more, and can reach a little farther and a little faster than parents realize! So, they pull hot liquids on themselves, and grab things like curling irons, or touch hot surfaces like the stove. The hands are very commonly injured, with the face and chest taking the brunt of the hot liquids.
Genetically speaking, your TSK won’t stay a “baby” very long in terms of activity level: one minute he is laying there quietly smiling and cooing, and the next he is rolling over and moving all about… and the next he is sitting, then crying, and definitely wanting to be …where he isn’t… which means he wants to be someplace else! So… he starts wiggling and before you know it he may have wiggled right out of the car seat.
Well, the next developmental stage is pulling up to stand and from there, you don’t have much control over TSK’s center of gravity, which is what makes shopping carts topple!
And, the next stage TSK is walking, and reaching, and all of a sudden TSK is much “taller” than he used to be… and he is getting faster at reaching for things…. like curling irons and hot things…. curious little feller, that TSK! Again, curiosity seems to be genetically inborn!
It’s easy as a parent to know “so much” that we “forget” to be curious – so every now and then, imagine would it is like to see the world through TSK’s eyes, as you reach for… ???? What could it be???
Parents have a BIG job to keep all the “what could it be?” things safe from TSK’s curious hands!
Life happens, but injuries like shopping cart falls and most burns can be avoided, with some fore-thought and developing good safe habits.
What could a safe habit be??
1) Don’t Let TSK sit in the shopping cart: if you LET TSK get used to sitting in the shopping cart by 1 year of age, guess what he will want to do when he is 2 years of age, and 3 years of age… etc? Well, he will “sit” there for maybe 1-2 minutes (TSK’s attention span is about 1 minute per year), but THEN he will want to get down, or reach for something, or do _________!! (You fill in the Blank; you know your TSK better than anyone!)
2) EVERY time there is something hot that could burn anyone, be sure it is placed safely away from curious hands!
What TSK is dreaming of today, he will be doing tomorrow – just be sure that what you are doing in the next 22 minutes is not… going to the ER for a preventable injury. Give that kid a hug! Gene