High-chair injuries on the rise: study

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Columbus, OH – An average of 9,400 children suffer injuries involving high chairs or booster seats each year, with falls being the main cause, according to a new study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Using data for children 3 and younger who were treated in emergency departments between 2003 and 2010, researchers found that falls were involved in 93 percent of injuries related to high chairs or booster seats. Before the fall, children usually were climbing or standing in the chair, which researchers said suggests the child was not buckled in or the restraint system was inadequate.

Head injuries such as concussions were the most common type, with the amount increasing almost 90 percent over the course of the study to 4,789 in 2010 from 2,558 in 2003. Other injuries included bumps or bruises and cuts.

Researchers stressed that a child should be buckled in with the safety straps every time he or she is in a high chair or booster seat. Other tips include not allowing the child to play, climb or stand in the high chair; keeping objects such as silverware out of the child’s reach; and supervising the child during mealtimes. Parents and caregivers also should make sure chairs meet current safety standards and are not subject to a recall.

The study was published online Dec. 9 in the journal Clinical Pediatrics.