Study finds increase in high chair-related accidents

There's No Substitute for Experience

An alarming number of children end up falling out of high chairs every year in the U.S. Given the fact that a toddler's center of gravity is different than an adult's, these children tend to more topple out of these chairs, which results in injuries to the face and head. Given the nature of these types of injuries, Tennessee parents will want to take heed when it comes to trying to prevent these accidents.

A study was published this week online in Clinical Pediatrics. The study found a 22 percent increase in the number of accidents involving high chairs between 2003 and 2010.

According to the study, close to 9,500 children age 3 and younger are brought to emergency rooms every year after falling out of high chairs. Breaking this number down, this means a child is injured in a high chair accident once every hour in the U.S.

In looking at what is causing these accidents, the study's co-author, Dr. Gary Smith, points out that between 2003 and 2010 there were 3.5 million high chairs recalled in the U.S. due to the chairs not meeting certain safety standards. He said many parents may not have learned about these recalls, and therefore, continued to use unsafe chairs.

However, unsafe chairs are not the only cause of accidents. Rather, the study found that many times either the restraints on the chair are not working properly, or the parents are incorrectly using the restraints. This is especially dangerous if a child attempts to stand up.

For the child, falls from chairs spells danger, with concussions and closed head injuries being the most common types of injuries after a high chair fall.

For parents, Smith said the best ways to avoid accidents is to use the restraints properly and supervise children while they are in the chair.

Looking to the future, Smith also said he expects there to be a decrease in the number of recalls, since the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act mandates for third party testing prior to these types of products being sold.

Hopefully, less recalls will also mean fewer children's injuries.

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