COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- One U.S. child every hour -- or 9,400 children a year -- are treated each year for an injury associated with a high chair or booster seat, researchers say.
The study, published online ahead of the print edition of Clinical Pediatrics, found 93 percent of the injuries associated with a high chair or booster seat involved a fall.
"Families may not think about the dangers associated with the use of high chairs," Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said in a statement. "High chairs are typically used in kitchens and dining areas, so when a child falls from the elevated height of the high chair, he is often falling head first onto a hard surface such as tile or wood flooring with considerable force. This can lead to serious injuries."
Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined data relating to children age 3 and younger who were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments from 2003-10 for high chair-related injuries.
Despite millions of unsafe high chairs recalled in recent years, the number of closed head injuries increased by almost 90 percent during the study period, going from 2,558 in 2003 to 4,789 in 2010.
Parents can check www.recalls.gov to see if their child's high chair has been recalled.
"The number one thing parents can do to prevent injuries related to high chairs is to use the safety restraint system in the chair," Smith said. "The vast majority of injuries from these products are from falls. Buckling your child in every time you use the high chair can help keep them safe."