New Safety Regulations on High Chairs
By Carla Landi
The new federal standard (ASTM F404-18), developed by ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials), has been approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), to improve the safety of high chairs in the United States. This regulation is in effect on all high chairs manufactured or imported after June 19, 2019.
In a recent 2-year period, there were an estimated 18,500 high chair-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, according to CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). Most of the incidents were due to falls when a child tried to climb into or out of the high chair; when the chair tipped over as a child pushed back, or rocked back and forth while seated in the high chair; or when a component (such as the restraint, tray, or lock) of the high chair failed.
The new mandatory standard ensures that high chairs meet requirements for stability and restraint systems, as well as include warning statements printed on high chairs about how to avoid fall hazards.
Specific changes to the standards:
- Rearward stability (to prevent the chair from tipping over backwards)
- Better warning labels about tipping hazards
- Requirements for a passive crotch restraint
- Requirements for an active three-point restraint system
- Product registration for potential recall notifications
The standards apply to high chairs manufactured both in the US and those imported from abroad. Any high chair manufactured or imported after June 19, 2019 that does not comply with ASTM F404-18 will be against regulation.
How will the regulation be enforced and what are repercussions of not complying?
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has jurisdiction over the enforcement of any violations of the new high chair regulation. Fines can range from $8,000 to $100,000 per violation (per chair), with a maximum for a series of violations ranging from $1.8M to $15M, based on seriousness.
The top foodservice equipment manufacturers and distributors are aware of the new regulations and are ready to help foodservice operators comply with new regulations and continue to succeed in business.
Rubbermaid’s high chairs comply with the regulations and offer a number of additional features and benefits. Their Microban Sturdy Chair™ has a sleek look with a variety of colors available. They are easy to clean, Microban protected from bacteria, and comply with FDA and ASTM F404-18 standards.
G.E.T. answered the call naming their new high chairs ‘The Safest Seat in the House.’ Their new design includes 3-point strap harness, recessed warning label, permanent center T-bar, extra secure bolt point on back, reinforced side bar, upgraded hardware, and sturdy anti-tip leg base.
Adcraft stepped up to the table with their new high chair design. The changes they made comply with the new safety regulations with active 3-point restraint, permanent T-bar, warning labels, and rearward stability.
The above are just a few examples of manufacturers that can help foodservice professionals with high chair safety issues and new requirements and regulations. Be sure to contact your dealer consultant for assistance.