High chair injuries have been increasing. Is your little one safe? According to a recent study of emergency room visits, high chair-related injuries have increased roughly 22 percent over the past decade.

Shobha Bhaskar, MD, a Washington University pediatric hospitalist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and one of the “Mom Doc” contributors to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital ChildrensMD blog, says finding a safe high chair can help prevent accidents.

High Seating, High Standards
Your high chair should have a wide, sturdy base that cannot be tipped over easily. It should also have at least a three-point—and preferably a five-point—harness. Dr. Bhaskar discourages parents from using vintage high chairs, as they lack newer safety features and may be decorated with lead-based paint. Always check Recalls.gov before using a hand-me-down or older-model high chair.

When using a high chair, follow these safety steps:

  • Don’t depend on the attachable tray to restrain your child. Small children can slip underneath it.
  • Place the high chair away from tables and counters. Kids can kick against these surfaces and tip over.
  • Don’t let children play or climb on the high chair.
  • When dining out, make sure the restaurant’s high chairs have a sufficient, working harness.

“Failing to use a high chair’s restraint system is one of the most common mistakes parents make,” Dr. Bhaskar says. “Most high chair accidents can be avoided when children are properly strapped in and supervised.”

For more advice from our “Mom Docs,” visit ChildrensMD.org.


Expert Advice