The very thing that makes high chairs so useful, their height, can also make them a bit of a concern. As every parent knows, kids don’t sit still, so it’s important to strap them in. It will help you stay calm and keep your child safe. Read on for even more helpful high chair tips.
- Make sure to select a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certified high chair or booster seat, which means that it meets current safety standards, and check that it has not been recalled here.
- The most important safety features are the safety straps and a crotch post. The safety straps, 3- or 5-point harnesses, should fit snugly to keep your child in place. The crotch post will keep your child from slipping and sliding under the tray table and out of the bottom of the chair.
- A full-sized high chair usually has a wide, sturdy base, and can be adjusted to different heights as your child gets older. If you need to regularly move or store your high chair, a foldable model, or a model with wheels, can be helpful. However, make sure that the chair is open to the right position, and lock the wheels in place before you put your child in.
- If you opt for a booster seat, make sure your child has the muscle coordination to sit up in one, and that you are attaching it to a sturdy chair. It is important to use all of the straps provided with the seat, to attach it as securely as possible to the chair.
- Avoid using travel/portable chairs that clip on or strap to tables, since it’s impossible to know if every table can accommodate the weight of your child, and that the seat is secure.
- Use all of the enclosed safety straps and harnesses each time your child is in the chair. All it takes is one strap that isn’t latched to allow your child to climb out or slide down.
- Make sure the tray table area is securely locked onto the chair, but remember, this is not enough to keep your child safe. You need to also use the safety straps.
- Keep the high chair away from walls, counters, and tables. This keeps the children from pushing themselves against these things and tipping over, or grabbing something they shouldn’t.
- Stay with your child at all times when s/he is in a high chair, just to make sure that s/he is safe in the chair and while eating. 60% of non-fatal choking accidents are food-related. For more on choking, go here.
- Remember: It’s just as important to follow these guidelines when your child is away from home, as well, such as visiting family or eating at a restaurant.
Each year, more than 9,400 children are treated for injuries resulting from high chairs and booster seats
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital