Kids with special needs don’t disappear when they stop being toddler-sized. Small children with special needs grow up to be larger children, teenagers, and adults, and that can create new problems for carers. Now at least shopping is getting a little easier, thanks to a new initiative to roll out shopping carts equipped with extra-large seats big enough to hold larger children and even adults comfortably on a shopping trip.
According to Target, these new carts were invented by Drew Ann Long of Alabama, whose daughter, Caroline, has a neurological disorder called Rett Syndrome. Most people with Rett Syndrome can’t walk, and maneuvering around a store with both a shopping cart and a wheelchair is virtually impossible for one person. Drew Ann could put her daughter in the shopping cart while she was small, but Caroline would eventually outgrow that. So Long designed a new cart with a big enough seat for almost anybody.
The “Caroline’s Cart” might seem simple, but it’s a game-changer for families caring for loved ones with mobility issues, and now Target says it will make sure every one of its locations has at least one Caroline’s Cart available.
“This simple cart literally will change how we can shop, not having to worry as to how we are going to get into a store,” on father wrote on Target’s Facebook page when he heard the news.
The Caroline’s Carts have been around since 2008 and can be found from time to time at many grocery stores and retailers. Now people will know they can find them at Target, and that’s pretty cool. According to Target, the idea of officially partnering with Caroline’s Carts came from a Target employee who had used them for her child, and she came in and said Target should have them in all the stores.
“We’re thrilled that Target is our largest retail partner,” said inventor Drew Ann Long. “We hear from so many families asking specifically for the carts at Target because they love shopping there, so it’s exciting to know thousands of families will now have an easier shopping experience.”