Friday’s Rants from the Soap Box – Sick in the Supermarket trolley?

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Welcome to my Friday’s Rants from the Soap Box in my Living Room. A small space in the week where I can have a chunter about things that have made me twitch with annoyance or made me question if the world has gone mad or not….
I also linked up with MummyBarrow for her Ranty Friday. You can find her blog and link up if you’d like to join in. A good rant can be therapeutic. Click on the link at the end to join in!


So, last weekend, most of the residents of the Mad House (the human ones) had a cold bug lurgy. The delights of back to school germs. I had to venture out to the supermarket to pick up supplies, and some more paracetamol.

As a parent, having had my own experiences of children having meltdowns in the supermarket, and other places, I usually tend to wince in sympathy and commiserate if needed with other parents who are dealing with a small child loosing the plot in the middle of grocery shopping, so when I heard a child crying, behind me, in a shopping trolley, I thought to myself “poor parents” and went about my business, getting what I needed. That is, until I happened to come across said child, and it’s family. I really, really do try not to judge other families, having kids and being a parent is tough, and we all generally are trying to do the best job we can, but last Sunday, I was horrified, and did mutter under my breath, and ranted to LSH about what I saw.

Child, probably aged about 4, sitting inside the trolley, in the area meant for food, looking pale, and miserable, crying, carrying, wait for it… a bowl full of vomit. Yes, the child was being pushed round the supermarket, whilst clearly riddled with some sort of stomach bug, while her family did their shopping.

Ok, so my kids have been ill, and I have bundled them up, and nipped out to the shops to get emergency medications, or supplies, or taken them to the doctors and they have had to be “out and about”, if only temporarily. When you need to, you have to do what you have to do. I could understand if this was a quick trip to pick up things needed, I am pretty sure most of us can say we have done that, but this was a family of three adults, with a small child, and another child in tow, all meandering round the supermarket, looking at wine, checking out things in the electrical department, and generally seeming unbothered that their child was pretty unwell, covered in sick and sharing whatever she had with the general public. They did at one point take her to the bathroom, but then carried on. I was in the supermarket for about 20 minutes, they were there when I arrived and were still there when I left.

I was horrified, and disgusted. Not only were they dragging a sick child round a supermarket, when surely one of the adults could have stayed at home with her, but they were spreading germs. I highly doubt that trolley would be cleaned after they had left it behind, and they just didn’t’ seem to care. people put their food shopping in those trolleys!

I did something I rarely do. I interfered. I went to the pharmacy counter, (I had to go there anyway, to get medicines) and I mentioned it to the pharmacist, who was most unimpressed, and went and spoke to them, and suggested they take their sick child home. I didn’t hear the conversation, but I really hope they went home pretty soon after that, and next time might use some common sense.

I have to say, I have now developed a mild phobia of shopping trolleys, and probably will either go to the supermarket armed with an arsenal of antibacterial wipes and spray (and I am not a germaphobe normally) or will be buying myself an old Granny shopping trolley to take with me. Thank goodness for internet grocery shopping, is all I can say.

So, would you have said something? What do you do when your kids are sick? Don’t forget to click on the linky and have a gander at the other rants.


Have a good weekend!

Posted in Friday's Rants from The Soap Box.


  1. Who in their right mind would take a sick child shopping? I can understand a single parent with bare cupboards might have to dash in with their child for a few essentials, but if there are 2 parents it’s simple for one to stay at home. Not only is it cruel, it’s a public health hazard.

  2. What in the name of common sense would make parents do that?!!!! FFS I can hardly believe that would actually happen (but I believe you that it did). Apart from the hygiene issues, I think I would have told the parents they were being cruel to the poor child. I mean, why wouldn’t one of the parents even take her to the bathroom until the other one finished doing the shopping? At least then, she could be comforted while she pukes, instead of wheeled around while everyone no doubt stared and tutted at her. Unbelievable.

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