The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received 1,842 reports of high chair related incidents from January 1, 2011 to September 30, 2017. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), 1,600 incidents related to high chairs occurred in restaurants from 2011 to 2016.

What is Considered a High Chair?

A high chair is defined as a free-standing chair for a child up to three years of age which has a seating surface more than fifteen inches above the floor that is used for feeding or eating. Most of the injuries to children have occurred when a child is trying to climb into or out of the chair unattended, the tipping point is exceeded in one direction, or a safety component fails or disengages.

New High Chair Regulations & Requirements

The CPSC mandates that all high chairs manufactured after June 19, 2019 comply with ASTM F404-18, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for high chairs. High chairs manufactured before this date are grandfathered as long as proof of manufacturer date can be produced. The new requirements are outlined below:

Stability Requirements

High chairs should be tested with the rearward stability index (RSI) to determine the point the chair begins to tip over. High chairs with an RSI of a minimum of 50 will meet CPSC regulations.

Warning Label Requirements

  • Warning label visible when placing the child in the seat noting the hazard, potential injuries, and how to avoid the hazard.
  • Warning label visible while the child is in the chair stating, “stay near and watch child during use”.

As a restaurant owner it is your responsibility to ensure that the high chairs you provide are compliant with federal regulations and are safe for your customers.

Interested in learning more valuable restaurant tips and industry updates? Read our Restaurant Blog Series.

What Procedures Can Prevent an Injury from Occurring in Your Restaurant?

  • When purchasing new or replacement chairs you must consider the rearward stability index of the chair to meet or exceed 50 RSI.
  • Ensure warning labels are placed on the chair in the manner described above and order new ones from the manufacturer when needed.
  • Observe how the chair is being utilized by the customer and educate them on the hazards if high chairs are used inappropriately.  Do not allow customers or employees to turn high chairs upside down and place child seats or infant carriers on the high chair.  
  • Examine the high chairs before and after use to evaluate for any deficiencies.
  • Tag chairs with deficiencies “not for use” and remove them from the other chairs until repairs can be made.
  • Follow all instructions in the literature provided by the manufacturer.

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