Throwback: Buckle up kids, we’re going shopping (safely)

Supermarkets and department stores begin installing shopping cart safety belts in 1987
Posted at 5:33 AM, Sep 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-01 13:33:40-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s mandatory seat belt law went into effect on July 1, 1987. But the car wasn’t the only place safety belts were being put to use that year.

Safety advocates also targeted shopping carts inside supermarkets and department stores. The move came on the heels of a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission which found some 9,000 children under the age of 5 were injured in shopping cart falls each year.

WRTV consumer reporter Barbara Boyd talked with parents at a Cub Foods store in central Indiana on September 15, 1987.

The mother of a 2-year-old said she loved the addition of a safety belt.

“He wants to move around too much. He really needs to be in it. He’s at that terrible twos so it’s perfect.”

But another parent told Boyd that his son was tough to control.

“We usually don’t put him in the seat belt cart anyway. He does a combination of things. He climbs out. He gets inside the basket. He gets under the basket.

The push for seat belts in shopping carts was largely driven by Proctor and Gamble’s Luvs diaper brand, which sponsored installing 1 million Safe-Straps in shopping carts.