Study: Marked rise in high chair falls and child head injuries

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Defective toys, furniture and other products can endanger a child's health or life. Dallas parents are dependent upon manufacturers to make sturdy, safe products. Child product makers must include appropriate instructions and warnings if any threat of harm is possible.

High chairs for babies and toddlers come in a variety of clever designs and bright colors these days, a far cry from the old wooden and metal high chairs of decades past. With all the upgrades and government oversight, you might think high chairs are safer than ever. A new study suggests the opposite may be true.

New research published in the journal Child Pediatrics showed the number of child injuries involving high chairs soared sharply between 2003 and 2010, up more than 22 percent. Most of the injuries were caused by falls, which often resulted in head or brain trauma.

The study, authored by a Nationwide Children's Hospital pediatrician, recorded 9,400 yearly child injuries due to high chair mishaps, about one every hour. The most frightening aspect of the study? Researchers found no clear reason for the increase.

The accidents had similarities. Head injuries during falls were common, since high chairs were often placed on and near hard surfaces.

Researchers learned babies and young children often were not "buckled in" properly. Unstrapped or poorly-secured children fell after standing or climbing on a chair, a condition that occurred in two-thirds of the injuries reported in the study.

Tumbles out of high chairs can be costly and life-threatening, when a young child suffers a traumatic brain injury. Hospital bills can exceed insurance limits. Care may be long-term or, in the most tragic cases, necessary for a lifetime.

Parents may be blamed for some high chair accidents, but there's also the chance a high chair was badly designed, manufactured or marketed. Damages can be collected from a manufacturer when a parent proves a product's defect harmed a child.

Source: healthland.time.com, "High Chair Injuries on the Rise" Alexandra Sifferlin, Dec. 09, 2013