Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 5: Facilities, Supplies, Equipment, and Environmental Health

5.3 General Furnishings and Equipment

5.3.1 General Furnishings and Equipment Requirements High Chair Requirements

High chairs, if used, should have a wide base and a securely locking tray, along with a crotch bar/guard to prevent a child from slipping down and becoming entrapped between the tray and the seat. High chairs should also be equipped with a safety strap to prevent a child from climbing out of the chair. The safety strap should be fastened with every use. Caps or plugs on tubing should be firmly attached. Folding high chairs should have a locking device that prevents the high chair from collapsing. High chairs should be labeled or warranted by the manufacturer in documents provided at the time of purchase or verified thereafter by the manufacturer as meeting the ASTM International current Standard F404-08 Consumer Safety Specification for High Chairs. High chairs should be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions including following restrictions based on age and minimum/maximum weight of children.

Highchairs should be kept far enough away from a table, counter, wall or other surface so that the child can’t use them to push off or to grab potentially dangerous cords or objects.

High chairs offer potential for entrapment, falls and other injuries. Current ASTM Standard F404-08 Consumer Safety Specifications for High Chairs covers:
  1. Sharp edges;
  2. Locking devices;
  3. Drop tests of the tray;
  4. Disengagement of the tray;
  5. Load and stability of the chair;
  6. Protection from coil springs and scissoring;
  7. Maximum size of holes;
  8. Restraining system tests;
  9. Labeling;
  10. Instructional literature.
The general age of high chair users is about six-months- to three-years-old (1). Caregivers/teachers should transition children from high chairs to small tables and chairs as soon as they are capable of using them.

Manufacturers and vendors also may indicate a weight restriction for use by children who do not exceed thirty-seven pounds (2). The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) has a testing and certification program for highchairs, play yards, carriages, strollers, walkers, gates, and expandable enclosures. When purchasing such equipment, consumers can look for labeling that certifies that these products meet the standards. ASTM also maintains a Website at with the latest standards on high chair specifications.

Center, Early Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Tips for your baby's safety.
  2. Lerner, N. D., R. W. Huey, B. M. Kotwal. 2001. Product profile report, 19. Rockville, MD: Westat.