High Chair 101: Serve Up Safety

A high chair can be an important part of your child’s feeding routine—from your baby’s first tastes of solid food to the mess of a self-feeding toddler. But it’s important to keep mealtime safe. Each year, thousands of children are treated in emergency rooms for high chair-related accidents. Help avoid injury by buying (or borrowing) the right high chair for your little one and following a few important safety steps.

Choose Wisely

When choosing a high chair, look for one that has a wide base. This offers stability and helps prevent the chair from tipping. Also, make sure the chair has a proper restraint system. In addition to a waist strap, it should also have a strap that runs between the legs to prevent children from slipping. High chairs with a post between the legs offer added protection.

Use It Correctly

Even the best high chair isn’t safe unless you take care to use it correctly. Never leave your child in the high chair unattended, and follow these tips to avoid accidents:

  • Remember to lock the safety latch every time you unfold the chair.

  • Buckle all the restraining straps as soon as you place your child in the chair. Never use the tray as a restraint.

  • Enforce a “sit only” rule. Don’t allow your child to stand in the chair.

  • Keep the chair in a safe place—far from the oven and other hot surfaces. Also, place it away from surfaces that your child can push off of, such as tables, counters, and walls.

  • Don’t let older children hang on or play around the high chair.

Online Medical Reviewer: Florence Desrosiers, MD

Date Last Reviewed: 4/6/2010

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.