Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

High Chair Falls Injure Thousands of Kids Each Year

WebMD Health News

May 1, 2001 (Baltimore) -- Youngsters who aren't buckled into their high chairs could take a nasty spill and wind up in the emergency department, researchers warned today at the Pediatric Academic Societies' Annual Meeting. In fact, at least 8,000 U.S. children are victims of high chair mishaps each year, according to the researchers' estimates.

"Most of the injuries involved the head or face," says lead researcher Elizabeth Powell, MD, from Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago. During the five-year study, the team saw that infants sustained a large number of bruises and scrapes, cuts, and some internal injuries. Of the 2% admitted to the hospital, 38% suffered a broken bone.

The moral of the study, says Powell: "Buckle 'em up before they chow down." She also says that injuries related to high chairs are particularly common in the first-year of life and that using the restraint would solve that problem.

There were no noticeable differences among the different types of high chairs in terms of type or frequency of injury. However, more than 5,000 of the injuries involved attachable high chairs, according to records from emergency room admissions. About 4,000 injuries were related to use of a youth chair.

The research is based on data from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Powell and her colleagues assessed data collected from 1994 to 1998 from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The researchers learned of more than 40,000 high chair-related injuries to children 3 years old or younger that required emergency room treatment. That computes to an estimated 8,000 infants and toddlers involved in chair-related injuries per year.

And just why are infants and toddlers being injured in high chairs?

Powell says 94% of the injuries result from kids falling from the high chair, often because they are not restrained. Only 4% of the injuries happened because the chair tipped over. Another 2% of the injuries happened when the child's hands or feet were caught in the chair or when the chair malfunctioned.

Powell says the problem with high chairs may be even greater than the data suggest, because a large number of injured children aren't treated in the emergency room.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd