Children can suffer a range of injuries in high chairs that are unstable or lack safety harnesses. Make sure you buy a sturdy, well-constructed high chair with a five-point harness system.
About high chairs
A high chair is used for feeding babies and toddlers. It has a raised seat off the ground and a small table connected to the front to place food on.
Risks and injuries
Falls are the most common type of injury involving high chairs. Children typically fall when trying to stand up in the chair, or when trying to climb in or out of the chair.
Other dangers associated with high chairs include:
- fingers, toes, limbs and heads being trapped, pinched or crushed by moving parts or gaps
- children choking on easily detachable small parts.
- Choose a high chair fitted with a five-point restraint harness that goes over the baby’s shoulders, round their waist and between their legs, or ensure that any other restraint system effectively restricts the child from standing up or slipping down from a seated position.
- Check that the construction and framework is sturdy and robust — put some weight on the seat and backrest to see if they squeak, sag, deform, move out of position, or collapse.
- Check that folding high chairs are stable and that the locks work to prevent them from accidentally falling or collapsing.
- Check that moving parts cannot pinch, crush or trap a child’s finger, toe, limb or head and that there are no sharp edges and points along the edges of the chair and tray that could cut a child.
- Check for any easily detachable parts which could pose a choking hazard.
- If the high chair has four castors fitted, make sure at least one pair (either front or back) has brakes to prevent it from becoming unstable.
- If you are buying a second-hand high chair that doesn’t have a proper harness, buy a harness separately and clip or attach it securely.
Always use the harness or restraint system and stop your baby from standing or trying to climb out of or into the high chair.
Make sure your baby’s hands are not in the way when you raise or lower the high chair tray.
- Position the high chair at least 500 mm away from windows, doors, stoves, electrical appliances and curtain or blind cords.
Never allow other children to play near or climb onto the high chair and place it out of reach when not in use.
Check for loose or broken parts and exposed foam on the seat that could choke your baby.