Proper Use the Key to Safety, Experts Say

Parents may think their tots are safely secured when they are in a high chair, but according to a recently published study, this is not always the case.

The report by Clinical Pediatrics magazine reveals that every year, about 9,400 young children in the U.S. are injured by falling off high chairs. The study also showed that the rate of such injuries increased by a startling 22 percent from 2003 through 2010. The most common type of injury associated with high chairs were head injuries, followed by bumps or bruises and cuts. Fox News Report on Injuries

In most cases the injuries are preventable. Doctors  warn that children in high chairs can be harmed if a chair is not used properly. In fact many parents and caregivers are not strapping in children correctly — and need to make sure they use the high chair’s restraining system properly. Tracy Mehan, a child safety expert and research manager at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, says there are many ways parents and caregivers can ensure their child’s high chair is safe.

Start by looking for a sticker on the back of the chair, or on the product box or brochure, from either JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) or ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), which  means the product has been approved for safety standards. Today Report on Injury Study

Other tips to prevent high chair/booster seat injuries from Mehan:

  • Make sure the high chair has safety straps with either a 3-point or 5-point harness.
  • Make sure it has a crotch strap.
  • When you buckle the child in, make sure the straps are attached firmly to the chair and that they’re snug around the child so he can’t wiggle out.
  • When you set up the high chair, put it in an area where the child cannot reach anything and make sure it’s away from the table or a wall or counter so they can’t kick or push the chair over.
  • Use booster seats that secure to a chair and have a tray, and make sure they are firmly attached, with no wiggle room.
  • In restaurants, make sure the high chairs or booster seats they provide have functional straps that are in working order. If they don’t, ask for one that does.

Also, consumers can review recall lists for high chairs and booster seats at www.recalls.gov

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