But will the high chair you choose be safe enough for your little one? We dug into what to look for in a high chair and how to tell if yours is safe enough.
Is your little one ready for a high chair? While this may be one purchase decision that seems easy, there are several safety concerns you should be aware of. Whether you buy a brand-new high chair or grab a hand-me-down from your sister-in-law, you want to be sure your high chair is safe. Here are the safety features you should look for in a high chair — and how to use a high chair safely.
Your baby's high chair might not seem like a dangerous item, but according to a nationwide study published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics, high chair–related injuries increased by more than 22 percent in the time period between 2003 and 2010. This study found that approximately 9,400 high chair–related injuries are treated annually in U.S. emergency rooms, with the most common cause of injury being falling.
"We have more than 9,400 injuries a year. That's a child every hour in this country that's injured from association with a high chair," said Dr. Gary Smith, one of the study's researchers and a pediatrician at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
While the research didn't point to one specific reason for the increase in injuries, high chairs can become dangerous for children when placed too close to a hard surface like a table or countertop. Children can use their legs to push against kitchen cabinets or dining tables, causing the chair to tip and fall.
Look for a certification sticker that shows that the manufacturer has voluntarily met safety standards set by ASTM International and that the manufacturer takes part in a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification program. You can find a listing of JPMA-certified high chairs on the JPMA website.
Whether you have a brand-new high chair or a hand-me-down, here are some important safety features to look for:
The safest high chair can still be dangerous when used improperly. The most important thing to remember with high chairs is to supervise your child at all times when he is in his high chair. It only takes a minute for something to go wrong, so better safe than sorry.
Here are a few safety tips to remember when your little one is in the high chair:
If you choose a safe high chair and supervise your child every time he's sitting in it, you can avoid many of the dangerous situations that may cause injury.
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