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High chairs and brain injuries may go hand in hand

Ohio parents take note: high chairs and booster seats may not be as safe for your children as you think. A recent study released by the Center for Injury Research and Police of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital showed that over 9,400 children on average received treatment annually for an injury in conjunction with a booster seat or high chair. Researchers studied children 3-years-old and under who received treatment at an emergency room during 2003 and 2010. Researchers specifically looked at injuries resulting from high chair use and the like.

Head injuries such as concussions were the most common injury related to the high chair falls. The number of closed head injuries jumped nearly 90 percent throughout the course of the study.

The total yearly injuries also continued to increase throughout the study rather than improve. An overwhelming majority of the injuries that occurred were the result of a fall. This begs the question of whether the falls were user error or product defects and what parents and caregivers can do to make sure their children are safe. The data recorded what the children were doing before they took the spill and two-thirds of the cases reported that the children were standing up or climbing in the chair. This means the either the child restraint was not on or that it did not work.

Obviously parents should use restraints to prevent head and neck injuries and keep a close eye on their children but parents should also check to see if the chair has been recalled.

In the recent past, millions of chairs have been subject to product recall due to safety concerns. If a child suffers a head or brain injury due to an unsafe or defective product, the parents may be able to recover compensation for those injuries through a civil lawsuit. Brain injuries and spinal cord injuries often entail extensive therapy and long-term care. The party responsible for the injury should help cover the cost of treatment and recovery.

Source: US News & World Report, "Highchair-Related Injuries Jump 22 Percent," Allie Bidwell, Dec. 9, 2013

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