Healthy Children - February 2017

A Different Dinnertime Safety Concern

High chair injuries have been increasing. Is your little one safe? According to a recent study of emergency room visits, high chair – related injuries have increased roughly 22 percent over the past decade.  Shobha Bhaskar MD. A Washington University pediatric hospitalist at St. Louis children’s Hospital and one of the “Mom Doc” contributors to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital ChildrensMD  blog, says finding a safe high chair can help prevent accidents.

High Seating, High Standards
Your high chair should have a wide, sturdy base that cannot be tipped over easily. It should also have at least a three-point – and preferably a five-point – harness. Dr. Bhaskar discourages parents from using vintage high chairs, as they lack newer safety features and may be decorated with lead-based paint. Always check before using a hand-me-down or older-model high chair.

When using a high chair, following these safety steps:

  • Don’t depend on the attachable tray to restrain your child. Small children can slip underneath it.
  • Place the high chair away from tables and counters. Kids can kick against these surfaces and tip over.
  • Don’t let children play or climb on the high chair.
  • When dining out, make sure the restaurant’s high chairs have a sufficient, working harness.

Failing to use a high chair’s restraint system is one of the most common mistakes parents make, “Dr. Bhaskar says. “Most high chair accidents can be avoided when children are properly strapped in a supervised.” For more advice from our “Mom Doc,” visit