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We saw a little girl tumble from the back of the shopping cart  her father was pushing and hit the concrete floor; head first.

She fell from the section designed for merchandise. A younger child was in the seat, at the front of the cart designed, with a safety belt, for children to ride in.

The parents didn’t know exactly what to do. The shoppers, me included, had just stepped of the Target elevator and none of knew what to do, so we all gasped.

Dad scooped up his screaming child , who was about 3 years old, floor and rocked her in his arms.

The Mom stood close by looking quite helpless.

Somebody had to do something.

The parents seemed bewildered, looking confused and frightened. The other shoppers who got off the elevator went on their way. I was left, and like everyone else, didn’t know what to do.

The little girl was the only one who, through her painful wail, knew what to do. She let it be known she needed help.

Maybe, just maybe!

I approached the parents saying I thought the store would have some type of EMR service to make a call for them and maybe they could approach a Target worker and ask for help in finding that service.

The parents spoke to each other in Spanish and then appeared to be very uneasy with my suggestion.

Dad continuted to rock and to cuddle his child and the family moved quickly away from the area near the elevators.

Did the parents seek help from a Target store manager? Did they use a cell phone to call 911? Did they leave the store to visit an urgent care facility or an emergency room?

According to reports, every year, an average of 21,500 children are injured in the U.S. because of falls from shopping carts, says the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, director of the Doernbecher Tom Sargent Safety Center, says “The overwhelming majority of injuries are head injuries, and you think about falling from a height and kids, especially younger kids, tend to be top- heavy, they lead with their head.”

The most serious injuries, it is said, occurred after children fell from a shopping cart onto a hard concrete floor.

To prevent falls from shopping carts the CPSC reommends the following:
• ·Use seatbelts to restrain your child in the cart seat.
• ·Retailers should ensure that all carts have seatbelts and that the seatbelts work as intended.
• ·Stay with your child at all times.
• ·Don’t allow your child to ride in the cart basket.
• ·Don’t place a personal infant carrier or car seat in the cart seat or basket.
• ·Don’t allow your child to ride or climb on the sides or front of the cart.
• ·Don’t allow a child to push the cart with another child in it.

Should I have stayed with the family trying to convince them  that they should seek medical attention?

In the age of Donald Trump, after the discomfort I saw in the parents’ faces when I mentioned seeking an authoritative figure, I chose to back off.

What was their immigration status? What questions were they going to be asked? Did they have health insurance for urgent care or emergency service?

In the long-run, like the rest of the shoppers who witnessed this tragedy, I disappeared into the store and completed my shopping.

I don’t feel good about not providing help other than suggesting the parents alert the store manager or themselves call 911.

What would you have done?

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Laura Monteros

    Easier said than done. My grandson, 4 1/2, is big for his age–about 3 1/2-4 feet tall and 5 pounds. He is far to big to fit in the seat on a shopping cart. The last time I tried, about a year ago, I managed to get him in but couldn’t get him out without help. At that age, my kids could walk beside me or hold onto the outside of the cart. My grandson can’t, due to an intellectual disability. He has to be in the cart.

    The parents you saw had two children. If there had been a cart with two seats, they probably would have used it. I understand the safety concerns, but we do what we have to do. In their case, it was one in the seat and one in the cart. In mine, it is in the cart.

  2. Jean C. Troy

    I probably would have done what you did especially when the parents were concerned about calling authorities, It is certain that they loved the child, so facing deportation or staying here to support their little one must have been running through their head. I hope the child like most will be ok or someone in the family will see that she gets medical attention. The trouble that bigots cause is so unfortunate

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