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  Feeding Chair Safety
 
I met a woman at the clinic whose baby had a really nasty fall from a feeding chair. Now I am concerned about the safety of the high chair – even though my baby loves it. I let him sit in it and have finger foods while I am preparing supper for the family. Am I being careless?

Feeding chairs are perfectly safe as long as you follow a couple of guidelines. Make sure that the chair you are using is robust and sturdy, and is well made with no sharp edges or loose bits. Always, always strap baby into the seat. The strap between the legs is vital in ensuring that baby does not slip forwards out of the chair. No matter how small and immobile your baby seems to be, baby must always be strapped.

Make sure that there is nothing close enough for baby to kick against – babies are surprisingly strong and can cause a high chair to topple if they are able to put their feet against a surface and push backwards. Folding chairs should be properly clipped open to avoid the chair folding closed on the baby.

Some chairs come with a removable tray. In this case the tray must be securely latched in place every time it is used. Make sure babies fingers are well clear when clipping the tray on. Cleaning of the high chair and the tray are really important. You baby has no way of discriminating between fresh food and a tiny portion left from a few days before!

The kind of feeding chairs that need extremely careful monitoring are the type that clip onto the table. Be extremely vigilant about his type of chair, and only use it on tables that are strong and heavy enough to prevent baby from toppling the whole table over. Make sure that the chair is properly secured before putting baby into it. Never unclip the chair with baby still in it, make sure you always take baby out first. The feeding chair must be clipped directly onto the table itself, not onto a tablecloth or covering. Monitor what is going on under the table, and baby can kick against a table leg, or a large dog, hard enough to dislodge the seat.

Letting baby entertain himself in the high chair while you get things done is a great way of killing two birds with one stone. He is happy because he can see you and has things to do. Make sure that you chat to him and enjoy his company. However, never leave him alone in a room in the high chair. Make sure that you have everything you need before you put him into the chair.

 

 

 
   
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