Study: Highchair injuries on the rise

NBC News - Highchairs are safe places to contain young kids while they eat. But more children are getting hurt while in highchairs, sometimes severely.

Three-year-old Harper Waggoner has outgrown a highchair. But about a year ago, she was strapped into her highchair seat ready to eat lunch.

That's when her mother, Kelli, turned her back for a second and heard a deafening thud.

"I looked back and what she had done. She had flipped over," Waggoner said.

Harper had pushed away from the kitchen island tipping the entire chair over. She ended up with a hairline fracture on her skull.

She is one of nearly 10,000 young children severely injured in a highchair every year.

"Far and away, the most common mechanism of injury is a fall," said Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Smith and his team analyzed the annual number of highchair-related injuries that required emergency medical care.

"This was an 8-year study and over those 8 years, the number of high chair related injuries among young children increased by over 20 percent," Smith said.

Brain injuries, like concussions, were the result of most major falls.

The biggest danger is when kids aren't strapped in properly.

"The important thing is the crotch strap. You want to make sure that this strap is here because it helps keep the child in the chair so they don't slide out from underneath," Nationwide's Tracy Mehan said.

"I never would have thought she could reach that island to push off," Waggoner said.

Some injuries may have been associated with recalled highchairs. You can check to see if your highchair has been recalled at