If you want to get your grocery shopping done as quickly as possible and without interruptions, it’s best to leave the kids at home. Of course, this isn’t always possible. Most parents will have to bring their kids to the grocery store on occasion (if not every time), and when they do, they want to make sure the process is simple and safe. Older kids can walk beside you as you shop, but the best place for little ones is often right inside your shopping cart. Stores that offer kid-friendly shopping carts improve the lives of all customers, including those who typically shop solo. When small children are safely seated in a cart, they’re always in view and unable to walk, run, or crawl around the place.
Still, you don’t want your child or children to be uncomfortable when sitting in a cart, and neither do other customers or store managers – carts that aren’t optimized for children can make for noisy, frustrating experiences for everyone inside. No matter your role, then, it’s important to know which shopping carts are best suited for kids. Here are the key features found in the most kid-friendly shopping carts available.
What to Know About Kid-Friendly Shopping Carts
Dedicated Space for the Little Ones
There’s no denying that any kid could easily fit inside a large cart. But just because there’s plenty of space inside the main carriage doesn’t mean this is the proper place for anyone to sit. For starters, you need to put your groceries somewhere, and your cart’s capacity will be seriously limited if a kid or multiple kids are taking up this space. More importantly, however, putting your kids here is unsafe – smaller children won’t be secured, and larger children can easily climb out and potentially tilt (perhaps tip over) the cart if they move around enough. For all these reasons, the most kid-friendly carts feature a purpose-built space for your little ones. These spaces are either built-in, retractable seats, or specialized docks to which you can secure your own car seat.
If you’re wondering at what age a child can sit in a shopping cart, experts say that once a kid can sit upright on their own, they can safely sit in a shopping cart (children who are six months or older often qualify).
Comfortable Leg Holes
The aforementioned retractable seats featured in a shopping cart must also include large enough openings for kids to dangle their legs. Otherwise, your child will need to keep their legs folded in an uncomfortable position for the duration of your shopping trip (which could take an hour or more). Leg hole closures are thin flaps that can be moved to reveal these spaces for children’s legs or stay put to prevent any small items that you place up there from falling through.
Durable Back Support
In kid-friendly shopping carts, leg hole closures serve another important function – when folded back, they act as back support. The more adjustable this support is, the better. After all, every child is unique. Regardless, this support should be slightly angled toward the front of the cart so the child can gently recline when leaning back. This is the most comfortable position, generally speaking.
Sturdy Safety Belts
Comfort is key, but safety is more important. Even if your kid is mostly secure thanks to their dedicated seat complete with leg holes and back support, they can still move around too much for their own good if they’re not strapped in. As such, you should only place your kid in a shopping cart if it features a secure safety belt. A simple belt around the waist usually does the trick, though some carts offer shoulder belts, too. Either way, these straps should be adjustable to accommodate kids of all shapes and sizes.
Wheels Designed for Smooth Sailing
When considering kid-friendly carts, the focus on comfortable, secure seats can overshadow the rest of a cart’s components. However, a cart’s overall durability and movement matter here, too. It won’t matter how secure the cart’s seat is if the cart itself is wobbly, hard to push, and/or lopsided. In this way, the most kid-friendly carts are also durable and well-maintained, featuring sturdy, operational wheels that allow for a smooth, steady ride.
Tiny Carts for Practical Play
All of the features mentioned above refer to standard and large shopping carts that offer space for children to sit. That said, kid-friendly carts can also refer to carts that kids can operate themselves. Some stores will offer these toddler shopping cart options to customers as a way to keep children occupied and engaged during the shopping process. It’s up to the parent’s or guardian’s discretion to allow their kid to navigate the store with one of these tiny carts, as some children may run wild with them. In the right circumstances, however, kids can enjoy playtime while also learning a bit about how adults do their grocery shopping via these vessels. Stores can build brand loyalty by keeping kids engaged in this way, too.
Considering Carts for the Kids
As a parent or guardian, you want your children to be safe and comfortable while shopping. As a business owner or manager, you want to satisfy your customers with a hassle-free shopping experience. Investing in the most kid-friendly shopping carts is the solution for all of it.
Good L Corporation delivers innovative shopping cart and basket solutions for retailers on a global scale. Good L Corp. can configure the right carryall strategy to boost your retail business, from a fleet of new custom carts to launch your store opening to replacement baskets that supplement your existing shop supply. Let’s get started! Contact us today for a no-pressure sales quote!