The American Academy of Pediatricians is calling for new safety regulations and designs for shopping carts because of all the injuries they say occur with the current 70-year-old design. [Nice of you to chime in now, Docs. What took you so long?]
The Peds say it's a center of gravity problem: children are too high, and they either stand up and take a dive onto the floor, or the cart tips over, taking a buckled-in kid with it. Either way, it's a life-threatening injury for the kid, and six months of mortgage payments on the ski house in Stowe for the neurosurgeon.
First off, remember that it's really only ugly children who are at risk here, since they're the ones who don't get buckled in in the first place. Second, if you don't happen to live in the suburbs, where those Zamboni-like shopping carts with the mini-trucks on the front dwarf the SUV's in the parking lot, the Peds say to use a stroller or a wagon.
Even though they say not to--and I don't know why, because it IS a low center of gravity--I'm going to put the kid in the shopping basket from now on. But only after heading straight to the toilet paper aisle. I'll pack Charmin all around her, then I'll start my list. Then at the checkout line, I'll "change my mind" and leave all the toilet paper stacked on top of the gum. That, or I'll use FreshDirect.