Photo Credit: Heleen/Toddlertoes/Flickr/Getty
When you’ve got kids screaming, food boiling over and about 10 minutes before the school bell rings, we understand the urge to plop your baby in her high chair, forgetting about the straps and harnesses this time. But new stats published today in the Clinical Pediatrics journal may cause you to think twice before assuming your little one will stay put.
A national study finds that between 2003 and 2010, injuries caused from incidents involving high chairs and booster seats were up more than 22 percent, NBC News reports.
“We have more than 9,400 injuries a year,” researcher and pediatrician Dr. Gary Smith tells the network. “That’s a child every hour in this country that’s injured from association with a high chair.”
The most common damages came from falling, resulting in concussions or other head injuries, NBC reports, and, not surprisingly, not strapping kids in can lead to falls.
“When it was documented what the child was doing immediately prior to a fall, two-thirds of those children were either climbing or standing in the chair,” Smith tells the network. “Which tells us that one of the things that parents need to remember is those children need to be strapped in…That is going to be the number one way to prevent injuries associated with high chairs.”
So, what can parents do to ensure their child’s high chair safety? Nationwide Children’s Hospital safety expert Tracy Mehan tells NBC to be sure your chair has a 5-point or 3-point harness and crotch strap and that children are buckled in with the straps snug. She also says to be sure to place the high chair away from the table or wall, secure booster seats to a tray and, if at a restaurant to ask for a booster seat or high chair with working straps if not provided with one.
Yes, strapping your kid in every single time can be a nuisance, but is it better than a rush to the emergency room? Definitely.