Supermarket trolley danger warnings issued

Supermarket trolley 1jpgSupermarket trolley danger has come under the spotlight after figures reveal 401 youngsters were injured in falls.

It’s the highest number in five years, prompting many New Zealand supermarkets into action to warn customers of the risk of letting children ride on or play in trolleys.

Injuries included soft tissue damage, cuts, dental injuries and concussion, and Accident Compensation Corporation figures show that claims from such falls cost taxpayers more than $37,223.

Following “horrific” injures to a toddler, Pak ‘n Save Petone in Lower Hutt has placed a sign prominently near its entrance asking customers to restrain their children. Supermarket owner Leo O’Sullivan says the toddler was not restrained, and banged its head in the fall.

“Their teeth went through their lip, and they were covered in blood.”

Foodstuffs New Zealand says it is considering displaying safety posters in trolley-bay areas at its 475 supermarkets nationwide. Its brands include Pak ‘n Save, New World and Four Square. Some stores, like the one in Lower Hutt, already have warning signs.

PR manager Katherine Klouwens says the company’s supermarkets already have methods of advising parents about child safety, including messages on trolleys, special baby seats and safety messages broadcast on in-store radio systems.

O’Sullivan says his supermarket has “one or two bad” falls a year, and is hoping the new sign will prevent such accidents.

“Children are 80 centimetres to a metre off the ground, so they hit the concrete hard.”

While babies are typically restrained, some parents fail to do the same for toddlers, he says.

In an informal survey, Stuff asked shoppers if supermarkets should be doing more to make ensure parents keep their children safe while riding in trolleys.

Two respondents said they did not think supermarkets needed to become involved as it was more a case of parental responsibility, while others said the rules should definitely be tightened if children are at risk, and any initiatives should be supported.
“I’ve seen people accidentally driving trolleys into children because their parents let them run amok,” said one respondent.

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