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Shopping-Cart Safety Smarts

Sure, it's convenient to plop your child in the basket when you buy groceries. But each year, 23,000 children end up in the emergency room  -- mainly with head and neck injuries  -- due to falls from shopping carts. That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep kids out of traditional carts whenever there's an alternative. Three ways to shop safer:

* Choose a cart that seats a child close to the ground and use the seat restraints. Most big-name stores  -- like Wal-Mart and Sears  -- offer them.

* Scout out stores that offer supervised play areas. If you can't find one near you, shop with a friend who can push the stroller or hold hands with your child.

* Get older kids out of the cart by giving them their own grocery list.

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