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Supermarket makes new shopping carts for autistic children

Lana Bandoim's picture
Autistics children's carts at supermarkets

A supermarket in the U.K. is developing a new type of shopping cart specifically designed for children with autism. Sainsbury’s believes this will help families shop easier while keeping the children more comfortable. The change should offer hope to families around the world that other stores may be willing to follow this example.


Sainsbury’s is a popular supermarket in the U.K. that also offers online shopping options in some areas. After the mother of an autistic child complained about the shopping carts, the stores began to work on prototypes. The Leicester Mercury reports that the new carts have a five point harness and are safer for children. They resemble a car seat in some ways with a strong harness, head support and the ability for the child to have their legs free.

Maria Box helped in the development of the new carts and believes they will help her autistic son while she shops at the supermarket. She states she will not have to worry about him falling out or hurting himself in the new design. Box is grateful that the store listened to her pleas about making the seat bigger, so older children could use it.

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Parents of children with autism have limited options in other stores once their kids outgrow the current carts designed for babies. The older children may no longer fit inside, and there is no strong harness system. However, the changes at Sainsbury’s should give them hope that other locations will pay attention to their needs and also produce new shopping carts.

Box mentions that the new carts are also raising awareness about autism because people are asking more questions. She believes this is a positive step in the right direction to make stores and other businesses understand the difficulties families face while inside. Maria Box is not the only parent who is grateful for the changes.

Read more about autism:
Medicaid coverage of autism services ordered by CMS
Police handcuff autistic boy and force him to stay on top of squad car trunk

Image: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons