Family & health

Product overview

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We can help you find one that’s safe and easy to use.

Along with safety, we looked at how easy the highchairs were to assemble, fold and unfold, and clean.

From our test

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What to look for in a highchair

  1. The tray should be secure when fitted but easy for you to remove and adjust. A removable tray insert is useful – it fits on top of the tray and is easily taken out for cleaning. A cupholder helps prevent spills.

  2. A footrest is important to support an older child’s feet or calves.

  3. A reclining seat is useful for babies who can’t sit upright for long. But (except for bottle feeding) don’t have the seat in its reclining position while you’re feeding the baby – it’s a choking hazard.

  4. The seat cover should be easy to wipe clean. A removable seat cover is a plus.

  5. Check for stability. The legs should taper outwards, preferably extending further than all other parts of the chair.

  6. A 5-point harness with crotch, waist and shoulder straps helps prevent a child falling or climbing out of the seat.

  7. Castor wheels are useful for moving the chair around. There should be brakes on at least 2 wheels: older children may be tempted to take the baby for a joyride when your back is turned. If the highchair doesn’t have castors check that it’s light enough to move easily (without its passenger).

  8. Check that a child’s finger, toe, arm, leg, or head can’t be caught – especially around the arm rests and tray. Also look for sharp points and edges.

About our test

Our safety tests are based on the Australian Standard AS 4684:2009 and the European Standard EN 14988-2:2006. Compliance with these standards is voluntary in New Zealand but we recommend choosing a high chair that complies with these standards.

Our safety tests look at:

  • stability
  • strength of construction
  • whether there is a risk of scissoring (getting caught between two points that move towards each other), pinching or finger traps for the child or an adult folding and unfolding the chair
  • whether there are sharp edges, points or burrs
  • gaps and/or holes that could trap a finger, or any small parts that could be a choking hazard
  • whether the chair comes with a five-point harness, back and side protection as well as locking mechanisms to stop the child falling out.

We also look at how easy the chair is to use and clean.