Children are seen in emergency rooms for a variety of reasons, including accidents involving highchairs. But a new safety study by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital published in Clinical Pediatrics has found the number of these accidents drastically increased between 2003 and 2010 by 22.4 percent. Compared to 8,926 injuries in 2003, there were 10,930 in 2010.
An average of 9,421 highchair-related injuries are treated in an emergency room every year in the United States. Most involve children less than one year old.
Although the researchers are not surprised that this type of accident occurs, they didn’t expect the numbers to rise so dramatically. One possibility points to the child restraints, since about 75 percent of the accidents involved a child who was climbing in the highchair or standing. The two logical reasons for this are either parents aren’t using the restraints properly or the restraints are failing.
This recent increase in falls from highchairs is certainly a cause for concern, especially considering the severity of some injuries. Closed head injuries, including concussions, are the most common types sustained, accounting for 37.3 percent of the diagnoses. About 60 percent of the children suffered a neck or head injury and nearly 30 percent sustained a facial injury, according to the researchers.
Parents and caregivers should never rely on the tray as a restraint and instead should securely buckle their children into the seats. It’s important to make sure the wheels are locked as well. Of course, supervision is critical. Parents should also monitor product recalls issued by the government. If a product is recalled then parents should stop using it and follow the instructions to repair or replace the product.
Parents may hold a highchair manufacturer liable if the product is defective and it causes a serious injury. Gacovino, Lake & Associates helps parents hold manufacturers responsible for their products’ defects. Give us a call at 800-550-0000 or reach us via our online contact form.