High chairs tested for safety and convenience

September 20, 2012 3:41:18 PM PDT
High chairs make feeding your baby much easier, but some can also be dangerous. Consumer Reports tested for both safety and convenience.

Joyce O'Connor says a high chair was a must-have for her baby Molly.

She said, "You want to have them up at the table with you when you are having your family dinners."

Consumer Reports tested 19 high chairs costing between $40 and $265.

Artemis DiBenedetto with Consumer Reports explained, "Our testers perform tests to ensure they all meet current voluntary safety standards."

Safest are ones with a five-point harness, which is important to always use to secure your child. High chairs should also have a post to help prevent your child from slipping out.

"An unharnessed child could either slide down and fall to the floor, or his head could get caught and he could strangle," DiBenedetto said.

A child could also slip out of the sides of one of the chairs tested. Because of these safety problems, Consumer Reports has issued a safety alert on the Dream on Me Bistro high chair.

Consumer Reports also assesses convenience and features. An easy-to-clean seat is a real plus. One chair got high marks for having washable straps.

And two trays are better than one, like on a Peg Perego. If your child spills something, just lift the top tray off, and you'll still have a clean surface.

Consumer Reports top-rated the Peg Perego Prima Pappa Diner high chair that sells for $250. It also has a smooth, seamless fabric that's very easy to clean.

A less-expensive choice -- also with two trays -- is the Fisher-Price EX Clean for $85. Like the Peg Perego, it has a height adjustment so you can feed your baby at different levels, as well as an easy-wash surface.

There are no reported injuries on the Dream on Me Bistro high chair. But Consumer Reports advises owners stop using it. The company says the chair is no longer being made and it's working with the government on a voluntary recall. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is also looking into the high chair. If you own one, you can contact the manufacturer at 877-768-5500.


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