What Features Should I Look For In A High Chair For My Baby?

This article highlights some of the features to look for during the selection process of a high chair.

A highchair is one of the most used pieces of nursery furniture. It is for that very reason that parents need to be educated about the safety features to look for when selecting a highchair for their child. This article highlights some of the features to look for during the selection process.

There are several types of highchairs: wooden, metal, and combination plastic and metal chairs. Wooden highchairs are nostalgic but they don't offer some of the conveniences of the other constructions. Metal highchairs are a bit heavier than the primarily plastic-type of highchairs. The combination plastic and metal chairs offer the most features and benefits.

Stability is one of the main features to consider when shopping for a highchair. Approximately 7,000 children per year in the U.S. are sent to the hospital for falls from highchairs. A wide base will offer security from this possibility.



Sharp edges should be avoided. Caps and plugs on tubing should be firmly attached so that a child can't remove them. Loose plugs and caps could result in a choking hazard for busy little hands. Wooden chairs should be free from any exposed splinters.

The tray should slide easily on and off. It should have high edges so that spills can be caught. The tray should also be easy to clean. The tray locks should lock securely.

An adjustable highchair offers flexibility for the growing child. Reclining positions, adjustable trays, and adjustable footrests are features that will extend the usefulness of the highchair. Children grow quickly and a chair equipped to grow with a child offers an excellent value.

An easy to clean highchair is another attribute to look for. A baby will likely spit and throw food in every crevice of the high chair. Vinyl padding, plastic trays, and easy to wipe surfaces will make the cleaning process much easier. Consider keeping some disinfectant wipes close by for quick clean up jobs.

Some highchairs may come equipped with wheels. This can be a convenient feature, but always make sure to lock the wheels when your child is seated in the chair. Unlocked wheels can be a safety hazard also. An active child who decides to rock in the chair could possibly tip the highchair.

Also, make sure the waist and crotch-restraining straps are independent of the tray. The buckle on waist strap should be easy to use. If the high chair folds, it should have an effective locking device to keep the chair from collapsing. Removable seat covers are a nice feature to aid in keeping the chair sanitary.

A second-hand highchair should have the safety features discussed here. If it doesn't, the missing or unsafe parts should be easily replaceable. Breaks or cracks should be repaired to offer more safety. The high chair should be able to be repaired without creating a "new" hazard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission can be contacted to check on the current safety status of a piece of equipment. The highchair should have the Juvenile Products Manufacturing Association logo. The JPMA, the American Society for Testing and Materials, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission all work together to ensure the safety of nursery furniture. These organizations can offer additional safety suggestions.

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