Keep Your Baby Safe At Mealtime With A High Chair

Parents and caregivers of young children need to be aware of the hazards and safety precautions involved with everyday items like high chairs.

Did you know that in one year, approximately 7,000 children were sent to the hospital for falls from high chairs? Parents and caregivers of young children need to be aware of the hazards and safety precautions involved with the products used each day when caring for children. Each year in the US, 12 to 14 million children (or one in four) younger than 15 years of age need medical attention because of accidental injury. In fact, one-third of patients treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries sustained in falls are children. These statistics are disturbing, but the childhood accidental deaths and disabilities reflected by these numbers can be prevented with awareness and attention to safety issues surrounding the use of high chairs.

Never allow a child to stand up in a high chair. The chair could easily tip over and even if an adult is nearby, they may not be able to react in time to save the child from a dangerous fall. Also, keep the high char away from tables, walls, and counters in which the child could push off of the surface and tip the chair. A young child should always be directly supervised when seated in a high chair. It only takes a moment for an accident to occur and children at this age have no safety awareness of their own. The feeding tray doesn't supply an adequate restraint and children may discover their ability to release safety straps at any time. Another consideration in keeping your toddler safe is to discourage them from climbing into a high chair unassisted. Older children shouldn't hang onto a high chair that a baby is sitting in because the possibility of tipping the chair is present. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends always using the restraining straps provided with a high chair to avoid the possibility of a child sliding under the tray. This could result in strangulation.

If you have a high chair that has been passed on through generations within your family or a chair that has been acquired second-hand, there are a few guidelines to think about. Each year, more than 50,000 children in the U.S. are treated in ER rooms for injuries caused by recalled products such as cribs, playpens, and high chairs. Before buying or re-using a product, check to be sure it is still safe and has not been recalled. You can check the status of a product by calling the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772. The CPSC recalls products that provide a great risk to consumers either because the product isn't well made or that don't meet safety standards. Before calling the CPSC, gather (if possible) the name and model of the high chair, serial number (by looking on the bottom or on the back), and date it was made. Consumers can start an investigation or recall of a product.



Most childhood accidental deaths and disabilities can be avoided through prevention and awareness.

Home accidents usually occur through a combination of a child's burgeoning curiosity and a moment of inattention from parents or childcare providers. Reading these tips may remind you of some simple interventions to avoid the occurrence of such an accident for your child.

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