Do you own a high chair? If you do, you’re probably letting your child use it every day, just like millions of other moms around the planet. But besides using the high chair straps, have you ever considered other safety options?
Recent studies have shown that there’s been a noticeable increase in incidents related to this type of juvenile equipment. A vast majority of these injuries happen because parents don’t use chairs effectively, leaving their children unattended and letting them get close to tables and countertops. The similar thing can happen with baby walkers.
So, we’ve gathered all that you need to know to prevent these injuries and keep your kid safe in his or her baby chair.
As we said, the injuries related to this equipment are on a slow but steady rise. A 2013 study has shown that there’s at least one child treated for high chair-related injuries every hour in the U.S. That’s a staggering number of almost 10,000 children every year.
The biggest risk of an injury during the use of these objects is almost always related to falling (over 90% of all accidents). Falling from child highchair can lead to following injuries:
- Broken bones
- Neck injury
- Broken teeth
- Mouth injuries
- Head injury
Unfortunately, falling is not the only thing that could injure your kid. Other accidents associated with this kind of baby equipment include:
- Pinched fingers in joints and latches
- Toppling the chair by pushing against another object with feet
- Getting cut by sharp objects left within reach
- Getting burned on hot beverages and food
- Choking on smaller items close to the chair
High Chair Choices
When it comes to these kinds of chairs, there are several different types available in today’s market. Although it can be quite tempting to save money by skipping straight to a booster seat, purchasing the safest high chair for your kid is a much wiser decision. This ensures that the model meets your kid’s unique developmental and physical needs.
These are your choices:
The traditional children high chair is a standalone unit featuring long legs, which allow the parent to bring the kid to the same level of the dining table. In most cases, they have a removable tray, a harness, and a plastic seat. They usually recline in order to prop up children who are still unable to sit completely upright.
These were used by our grandparents and typically have a very unique look. However, they were not built in accordance with today’s safety standards and are not a good choice if you want to keep your child as safe as possible.
These sit on the top of your regular chair and feature high chair safety strap with which you can secure them. The main difference between the space-saving chairs and booster seats is that they come with adjustable reclining backs that bring extra support. Some models will also have removable trays and some can even be converted to booster seats later on.
These are tray-less, backless seats that allow toddlers to sit on the regular table chairs. As the name suggests, a booster seat can raise the child’s height and brings him to the same level as that of the dining table. As they come without harness systems, they are inappropriate for younger babies.
As the name suggests, these are compact models that can be hooked directly to the dining table. Although most of them have no removable trays or the reclining function, they still have a harness system. An important thing to say here is that they should be used only once the kid can sit upright and has a stable core, neck, and head control.
Vital Safety Features
If you’re in the market for a baby highchair, make sure to look out for the following safety features:
· 5-point Harness
The high chair safety strap is one of the most important parts of this baby equipment. It comes in the form of a 5-point harness and is something that will prevent your child from wiggling out and falling forward.
· Wide Base
These products are well-known for becoming top-heavy due to the weight of the babies sitting in them. Make sure to choose a model with a larger footprint and wider base – it will be a lot safer.
· Metal Joint Construction
We recommend getting a model with a metal joint construction – the ones with plastic joints are prone to cracking, which is highly unsafe.
· Locking Wheels
In case your model comes with wheels, ensure that it also features a secure lock for them. It’s something that will keep the chair from moving around during the meal time.
- Tip #1: Never place the chair anywhere near a counter or table. Your kid might be able to tip the chair over by pushing against these objects with his or her feet.
- Tip #2: Always use the high chairs strap. To be as safe as possible, avoid models with simple lap belts or 3-point harness systems – get one with a 5-point harness. Every time the kid is about to use the chair, strap him or her in and prevent possible wiggling by tightening the straps.
- Tip #3: Always remove all possible hazards in the area. Check for objects that might injure your kid, such as hot foods, choking hazards, sharp objects, as well as tablecloths that the kid could pull down.
- Tip #4: Never leave your child unattended in the chair. “Silent accidents” such as choking are always possible, so constant supervision is vital.
- Tip #5: Baby items such as these are sometimes recalled because of repeated accidents or product failure. Check periodically for recalls at recalls.gov.
- Tip #6: Never allow your kid to stand or climb while he or she is in the high chair. If it’s a foldable model, make sure it’s locked every time you set it up.
Using the high chair safety strap and looking out for possible hazards in the area is the key to keeping your baby safe when using this equipment. If you’re a parent who always exercises proper safety precautions, you won’t have much to worry about.