Parents: High chairs are not always as safe as you might think

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Between 2003 and 2010, the annual number of high chair-related injuries rose by over 22 percent, according to a study in the journal Clinical Pediatrics (which was also covered in the New York Times). In 2010, that meant that nearly 11,000 babies and young children were injured, as compared to under 9,000 in 2003. And over 86 percent of those injuries were to the head, neck and face.

Rachel Kurinsky from the Research Institute at Nationwide Children s Hospital in Columbus OH, and colleagues examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Over the study period, on average, there were, over 9,000 of these injuries related to high chairs and falling was the most common cause of injury associated with high chairs.

In their discussion, the authors noted: Despite the perceived safety of these products [high chairs], there were more than 9,400 injuries related to high chairs annually, or an average of 1 injury every hour. In addition, they added that while most such injuries were minor, over 2,000 of them led to hospital admissions during the study period.

ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan commented This is not an issue to be taken lightly. Parents should always be sure that child restraints are securely fastened when a young child or baby is seated in a high chair. Furthermore, the child s behavior should be monitored at all times, since a child who is rocking may tip the chair if he or she is not being watched.