More than 9,000 children under the age of 3 visit the emergency room each year as a result of falls, pinches, cuts and other high chair-related injuries. That’s one injury each hour. According to a recent study posted in the journal of Clinical Pediatrics, researchers have concluded that parents aren’t properly using, or using at all, child safety restraints to protect their children. Researchers also found that chairs aren’t meeting current safety standards, according to Daily News.
And the number of injuries is on the rise. According to recent data, there has been an increase in the number of E.R. visits resulting from high chair-related injuries by more than 20 percent from 2003 to 2010. The researchers found that high chair/booster chair injuries rose from 8,926 in 2003 to 10,930 in 2010.
Our Fort Myers child injury attorneys understand that 90 percent of these high chair-related accidents affect a child’s face and head. Less than 3 percent of the injuries were deemed minor and didn’t require hospital admission. While officials have not yet been able to pinpoint the drivers in the increase in accidents, a deeper look into the accident reports indicates that, in many cases, the high chairs’ safety features did not appear to have been used by parents or guardians. So children were allowed to slide or stand in the chairs, then fall or jump from them. It was not very often that reports indicated that restraints or straps were used.
About 70 percent of these accidents involve children who were climbing or standing in the chair just before their fall, research concluded.
Families often push a high chair close to a table so that their child can feel like part of the family during meal time. However, in addition to using the table or kitchen counter to kick off from, kids can also get hurt by reaching for hot liquids and sharp objects.
In the last few years, there have been millions of high chairs that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) because they don’t meet the current safety standards. During the study period alone, there were close to 4 million high chairs recalled. Of these recalls, only about 10 or 20 percent are ever returned to the manufacturer.
Whenever your child sits in the chair, use the safety straps, including the crotch strap. This will prevent your child from slipping down, which could cause serious injury or even death. Never allow your child to stand in the high chair. Also, the seat should not be slippery. If it is, put rubber bathtub stickers on it so your baby doesn’t slide around.
In addition to making sure that you thoroughly read all of the manufacturer’s warnings and instructions before using a high chair, it’s critical that you check the CPSC’s list of recalls, and check it often. Each and every day, there are more and more child items added to this list.
If you or someone in your family has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.