(CBS NEWS) -- About one child each hour is brought to the emergency roomdue to a high chair-related injury, a new report claims.
The research, which was published in Clinical Pediatrics onDec. 9, shows that between 2003 through 2010, U.S. emergency departmentstreated more than 9,400 kids for incidents involving a high chair or booster seat.
The number of injuries increased 22 percent over thestudy period.
READ THE STUDY (PDF)
"Families may not think about the dangers associatedwith the use of high chairs," study researcher Dr. Gary Smith, director ofthe Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital,said in a press release. "High chairs are typically used in kitchens anddining areas, so when a child falls from the elevated height of the high chair,he is often falling head first onto a hard surface such as tile or woodflooring with considerable force. This can lead to serious injuries."
Closed head injuries (CHI), which can include concussionsand other internal head injuries, were the most commonly seen injury,reported in 37 percent of cases. Rates of these injuries increased by 90percent throughout the study period, from 2,558 cases in2003 to 4,789 cases in 2010. Most children sustained head or neck andfacial injuries.
Bumps and bruises (33 percent) and cuts (19 percent) werethe second and third-most reported high chair injuries, respectively.
Ninety-three percent of the injuries were associated with afall. The majority of those cases involved a child who was climbing or standingin the chair, which researchers believed meant the product's safety restraintsystem was not being used or was not working properly.
The study also compared high chair injuries with childinjuries linked to regular chairs. More than 40,000 standardchair-related injurieswere reported in the same time frame, which equaled about four childreneveryhour. Similar to high chairs, falling and jumping were the mostcommonly-associated actions before an injury took place. Kids injured bystandard chair-relatedincidents were more likely to have broken bones, cuts and bruises thanthoseinjured by high chairs.
Smith said that most parents thinkthat the tray on the high chair will stop the child from falling. Heemphasizes out this item was not meant to be a safety feature.
Instead, the safety straps are the most important component to protectyour child. Chairs that have athree- or five-point harness with a crotch strap or post are the safestoptions. The caregiver should make sure that the straps are working and areattached to the chair before strapping the child in.
"The number one thing parents can do to preventinjuries related to high chairs is to use the safety restraint system in thechair," Smith said. "The vast majority of injuries from theseproducts are from falls. Buckling your child in every time you use the highchair can help keep them safe."
The chair itself should also be steady. Products with widebases that meet current safety standards are may provide the best protectionfrom tipping. If the high chair has wheels, parents should make sure they arelocked before putting a baby in.
Caregivers should also check for recalls in order to preventpotential hazardous incidents.
The researchers added that high chairs should be used duringmeal time, and children should be taught that this area is used for eating.Never allow a child to play in the chair.
The area around the high chair should also be kept clean, so kidsaren't tempted to reach or kick for something outside of their grasp. Commonitems that may be lying around including tablecloths, placemats, sharp silverwear, plates, hot foods and liquids.