Why Free-Roaming Kids Are A Nightmare For Costco's Food Samples

No doubt about it, Costco has many things to love. Not only does the chain have an extremely lenient return policy, leading to some pretty crazy customer returns, but it also sells items in bulk that you'll never see anywhere else. Seriously, where else can you find a 208-liter barrel of olive oil?

However, the best part of Costco is the free samples. Per Reader's Digest, the free samples are indeed unlimited, so feel free to go back for seconds. These samples are a great way to try before you buy, but they're also the perfect pick-me-up if you get tired during your five-hour journey through Costco.

That being said, if you bring kids with you to Costco, do everyone a favor –- keep an eye on your kids, particularly around the free samples. As workers point out, free food and unsupervised kids can be problematic, and not in the ways you might think.

Food samples can pose a serious risk to kids

Although you might expect the biggest issue with kids and Costco's free food samples to be greediness, that's not quite the case. As it turns out, workers' concerns lie far closer to the possibility of kids getting hurt or sick.

According to Mental Floss, sample workers maintain a height policy to help keep younger kids safe. If an unsupervised child isn't tall enough to see over the cart, workers assume the child might not know enough about their allergies or sensitivities to make decisions about new foods. Conversely, children who are tall enough to see over the cart are assumed to be old enough to know their dietary restrictions and be able to decide whether or not they can try the sample.

Of course, a good rule of thumb is to keep your kids at your side while you shop at Costco –- or any store, for that matter –- so you can ensure they don't eat anything that could be detrimental to their health.