Around six months of age, as your child develops their neck strength, they are ready to comfortably go into a high chair when it's time to eat. But how do you know which is the best chair for your bub or toddler? With so many models on the market, ranging in price from just $99 to over $600 parents are inundated with choice. Finding the right product for your needs and budget has never been harder.
Luckily, there's advice you can trust. Independent consumer group CHOICE recently tested 12 high chairs to help you decide which one has all the right features to make feeding time easy and comfortable for you and your child. Their rigorous assessment put 12 chairs under the microscope to see how they measured up to the international standard, as well as taking into account elements that are important to you stability, safety traps and how easy it is to use.
What should I be looking out for?
CHOICE tells us that the most common form of injury to watch out for is when a child falls after trying to stand up or climb out or into the high chair. Other serious harm can be caused by having their fingers, toes or other small limbs pinched or crushed by moving parts or gaps and choking on easily detachable small parts. For these reasons CHOICE recommends that your child's high chair should be sturdy, with a stable base, include a five-point harness with no sharp edges or exposed gaps/traps to ensure the baby's safety.
CHOICE's tests assessed:
- The stability of the high chair and whether it's solidly built.
- Any scissoring, pinching or finger traps for the child or an adult folding and unfolding the chair.
- Any sharp edges, points or burrs.
- How easy the chair is to use.
- Any gaps and/or holes that could cause a finger entrapment or any small parts that could cause a choking hazard.
- If the chairs come with a five-point harness, ensure they include back and side protection as well as locking mechanisms to stop the child falling out.
The results of these independent tests show that 2 of the 3 most highly recommended models retail at under $200; proving that a heavy hit on your wallet is not always the best indicator of quality, safety and performance. Most importantly, four models failed to meet minimum Australian Standards across crucial elements such as stability, providing a cautionary tale on equipment that could prove to be a safety hazard for your most precious resource.
So the best way to see through the marketing hype is to get the most independent advice. To see which products passed all safety and ease of use tests, read up on CHOICE?s Best Buys for high chairs
Last Published* December, 2022
*Please note that the published date may not be the same as the date that the content was created and that information above may have changed since.