Close to 9,500 children visit an emergency room because of pinches, falls, cuts and other high chair-related injuries each and every year, according to a report in the Daily News.
In a recent study, researchers found that parents aren’t using their high chairs’ safety restraints (properly — or at all) and that there are many high chairs that aren’t meeting the current federal safety standards.
Our product liability attorneys understand the risks for high chair-related accidents are on the rise. The number of injuries has actually spiked more than 20 percent from 2003 to 2010. The findings of this new study are raising some pretty serious questions regarding high chair safety. Of these injuries, close to 90 percent are to the face and head. Less than 3 percent of these injuries were considered “mild”. The rest required hospitalization.
There may have been tougher standards released for high chair safety in 2011, but there are still many parents who are using older chairs. In the last few years, there have been millions of high chair recalls, but only about 10 to 20 percent of the recalled chairs were ever returned to the manufacturer.
“Not meaning to be an alarmist, but these injuries aren’t few; they’re common and they can be serious,” said Gary Smith, study author. “You need to use the restraints every time. That is really the take-home message.”
Whenever your child sits in the chair, use the safety straps, including the crotch strap. This will prevent your child from slipping down, which could cause serious injury or even death. Never allow your child to stand in the high chair.
Remember that age and weight suggestions vary from chair to chair, so the seat you choose should have these spelled out. In general, high chairs that recline are safe for use by the time a baby is four months old (when he’s ready to start solids, which usually happens between four and six months). Hook-on chairs are usually fine when a baby hits the six-month mark.
You also want to make sure that you’re preventing tip over. Always keep high chair far enough from the table, counter or wall so the baby can’t push off from it.
Children should never be left unattended in a high chair. Older kids should never be allowed to climb on it. As with other baby gear, keep your child within sight when he is in his high chair or booster seat, particularly if he is able to unbuckle the straps, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Remember to properly secure them. Children can be seriously injured if they are not securely fastened in the seat. Do not rely on the tray alone to secure your baby. If your baby is not strapped in, she can stand up and fall out of the chair. Always strap your baby in and make sure the tray is securely in place.
Call today if you or your child has been injured in an accident. We offer free and confidential consultation to discuss victim’s rights. Call 1-800-283-2900.
More Blog Entries:
New Guidelines to Protect Sleeping Babies, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 16, 2013
Southwest Florida Traffic Safety: Child Car Seats in Focus, Florida Injury Lawyer Blog, October 4, 2013