Highchairs are designed for use in the feeding of older babies and younger children. High chairs generally have a wide base for stability, and are positioned at a height that allows the caregiver to feed the child comfortably from a standing position. Highchairs are equipped with a tray attached to the arms of the chair. In addition, the majority of highchairs have restraints to keep the child from slipping or falling from the chair.
Very young babies and infants should not be fed from high chairs. Older children who are capable of sitting in a chair without support should not use high chairs.
Fall and choking hazards are the primary dangers associated with high chairs. Defects in the seat restraints, tray attachment, or seat backing, may present a fall hazard resulting in injuries such as bumps, bruises, or cuts. In more serious instances, a fall from a high chair could result in concussions, broken bones, or even death. In addition, small parts or screws that may become detached from a high chair can present a choking hazard.
Some defects associated with recalled models of highchairs include seatbacks that detach or recline unexpectedly, posing a danger of falls, and screws and plastic caps loosening or falling out of the chairs, presenting a choking hazard. In addition, some restraints and safety belts designed to snap a child into place have failed, causing the child to slip or fall from the highchair. Some models of highchairs designed to unfold or open up, may collapse on a child if the highchair is not properly unfolded and assembled.
Injury Statistics Related to Highchairs
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2008, there were a total of 10,300 estimated injuries of children under the age of 5 connected to high chairs. Two deaths related to high chairs were recorded between 2004 and 2006.
Examples of Recalled or Defective Highchairs
IKEA Home Furnishings, of Conshohoken, Pennsylvania, recalled approximately 600 units of LEOPARD highchairs because of fall and choking hazards. Eleven reports were received on failing snap locks on the restraint safety belt feature, as well as one report of a child who received bruises after falling from the seat and through the frame. An additional report was received about a child placing a detached snap lock in his mouth, posing a choking hazard. The LEOPARD highchair was sold worldwide in a variety of colors as an individual seat and frame. The chair was manufactured in Italy, and has a label that reads LEOPARD “Made in Italy” on the underneath side of the tray and seat. In addition, the supplier number 19589 is visible on the label. The LEOPARD highchair was sold worldwide at IKEA stores from October 2009 through November 2009.
Evenflo Envision Highchairs
The Evenflo Company Inc., of Miamisburg, Ohio, recalled approximately 643,000 Evenflo Envision Highchairs after numerous hazard and injury reports associated with the highchair surfaced. The highchair poses both a fall and choking hazard to children. Screws and fasteners located on the chair can become dislodged, causing the seatback to recline unexpectedly, or even detach. In addition, small, detached pieces present a choking hazard. Three hundred and twenty reports were received noting injuries related to the seatbacks on the highchair coming loose or reclining unexpectedly. Additionally, one report was received of a child placing detached hardware in his mouth. The recall involves all model numbers of Evenflo Envision highchairs. The highchairs were manufactured in China and sold nationwide at mass merchandise stores and juvenile product stores from December 2002 through April 2006. Some Stores the highchair was sold at include Burlington Coat Factory, Toys”R”Us, and K-Mart.
Evenflo Majestic Highchairs
Approximately 90,000 units of the Evenflo Majestic Highchair were part of an expanded recall made by the Evenflo Company Inc., of Miamisburg, Ohio. 95,000 units had been previously recalled. The chair presented both a fall and choking hazard to children. Screws and caps on the highchair can easily loosen and detach, causing the seatback to unexpectedly recline or even detach. In addition, small parts that have detached from the frame or attachments can pose a choking hazard. Concerning the models included in this expansion, Evenflo received 145 reports of screws and caps detaching from the chairs, and 16 reports of seatbacks becoming detached or suddenly falling back. The models included in this expansion were manufactured in China and sold nationwide at juvenile product stores and mass merchandise stores, such as Walmart, Burlington Coat Factory, and Babies”R”Us, between January 2007 and December 2008.
Graco Contempo Highchairs
Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Exton, Pennsylvania, recalled about 100,000 units of Graco Contempo Highchairs as a result of 18 reports received in which the highchair collapsed. Because of the design of the chair, if it is not locked into place from a fully opened position, the highchair can collapse, posing the danger of injury to a child. Two other reports were received from outside the U.S. about the highchair collapsing. The chairs feature 3 recline positions, and 6 height adjustments, as well as an “A” frame. They were sold in various specialty stores across the nation from December 2005 to December 2006. Some of the stores the highchair was sold at include: USA Baby, AAFES, Target, Toys “R” Us, Babies ”R” Us, Wal-Mart, and Burlington Coat Factory.