Childrearing

Graco Can’t Seem To Make High Chairs That Stay — Well, High

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high chair recallA high chair can be a busy mother’s best friend. It’s how you get the dishes done while your child snacks on Gerber puffs. It’s the only way to cook and eat a meal without burning yourself, burning your baby, or going mad with frustration. These seats aren’t the most attractive things in your dining room, but man are they functional. Which is why the idea of a high chair just detaching from it’s base is more than a little terrifying. So if you have a classic wood Graco high chair, I recommend switching that thing out immediately! In fact, you might want to stay away from Graco high chairs altogether.

The latest recall of Graco high chairs comes from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. It says that there have been 58 incidents where the seat of the high chair detached from it’s base, causing a fall risk for infants and resulting in nine infants tumbling off the seat and getting scratches, bumps and bruises. One child in Canada got a concussion from the fall.

The specific product is the Classic Wood High Chair. It came in three different wood finishes and was sold at Babies R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Walmart and online retailers from September 2007 to December 2010. It originally retailed for about $130. The problem of course with recalling a product that sold so long ago is that most people who purchased the high chair aren’t the ones currently using it, unless they have a second child. By now, the chair has made it’s way through hand-me-downs or garage sales. Graco does has a repair kit available that they can ship to those who still have the high chair.

The recall is pretty wide ranging. Approximately 86,000 of the high chairs were sold by Graco, a leader in baby supplies. It’s also not the first major recall for Graco high chairs in the past couple years. In 2010, the retail giant recalled over a million high chairs from its “Harmony” line because their unsteady legs posed fall risks for infants. Apparently Graco needs to work on high chairs that can stay upright. First legs that break down and now seats that detach.

I realize that products for babies come under some intense scrutiny. And I think that sometimes we’re a little overzealous when it comes to what we expect from manufacturers. But isn’t an issue of asking parents to use common sense. This is a product that falls apart and puts babies in harm’s way when parents most need something trustworthy. I don’t think there’s many excuses to be made for Graco on this one. And given that the issue might be becoming a pattern, I have to admit that I would think twice before buying a Graco high chair at all.

(Photo: CPSC)