Restaurant High Chairs: What You Should Know, but Wish You Didn’t

If you’ve already invested in a portable high chair, you’re probably aware of the issues parents face when it comes time to secure their child into a seat in public. If you’ve yet to make an investment in a portable system to ensure your child’s safety, you may now be wondering why you didn’t do so sooner.

If you’ve ever gone out to eat with a toddler, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that in a random study, 30% of the high chairs inspected were dirty, and 40% had broken latches or buckles. Whenever you go out, it seems more likely that you’ll end up choosing a chair or cart with a broken strap than a functional one – and when it comes to your child’s safety, this is a complete failure of the current system. While restaurants are required to pass health inspections, high chair safety isn’t on the checklist. Cleanliness may be a concern if a case of food poisoning breaks out, but restaurant owners are simply required to clean the chairs – not provide functional chairs capable of keeping a wiggly toddler safely seated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) also does not consider high chair safety a part of its realm in regard to workplace safety. This leaves parents with a dilemma when it comes to ensuring their child’s safety and well-being in a public setting.

when can baby sit in highchair at restaurant?

The easiest fix, of course, is in regard to the cleanliness of public high chairs and shopping carts. Many grocery stores offer sanitizing wipes to wipe down the cart before placing baby in the seat, and you should take full advantage of this offer. While you may be tempted to just wipe down the handle and seat, ensure you also clean the seatbelt that will hold your child in place. When visiting a restaurant, consider packing your own sanitizing wipes in the diaper bag. When you clean off the chair, pay particular attention to the straps as well as the underside of the tray. Often chairs only receive a peremptory once-over (if that) at restaurants, which can leave bacteria behind.

The lack of safety isn’t as easily fixed as tossing a bag of wipes into your bag. Without working latches, buckles, or sometimes even straps, high chairs and carts are virtually useless to parents, as they fail to protect your child while seated. This is where portable high chairs come in handy. Products such as the Yochi Yochi, Regalo Easy Diner Hook On Chair, and the Summer Infant Deluxe Comfort Booster may be your answer. Instead of depending on unreliable and often broken latching systems, you carry your child’s security with you wherever you go. The Yochi Yochi excels in this regard, as it can be used both in a shopping cart and as a high chair. The Yochi Yochi’s fabric construction means it can also be quickly folded down and tossed into the diaper bag, unlike other portable high chair systems. You also won’t be depending on strangers to protect your child from exposure to germs and bacteria — a perk to all portable high chair systems. Instead, you can ensure the chair is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized in the comfort of your own home.

As a parent, you are constantly striving to provide the best for your child while keeping them safe and out of harm’s way. Yet every time you grab a shopping cart with a broken buckle or place your squirming toddler into a high chair without proper restraints, you are putting your child at risk. Instead of relying on others to adequately clean and provide secure seating for your child, you may want to consider taking your own steps to ensure your child’s safety in the future.