As a rule, a highchair belongs to the essential equipment of families with a small child. dTest had 20 new models tested in the laboratory and focused not only on safety, but also on durability or equipment. No fewer than three models came away with inadequate safety – they had problems with stability and the restraint system.
“The basic requirement for a high dining chair is its safety. We have looked at this in detail in several tests, which are governed by a technical standard. We take the safety requirements for granted, so any non-compliance with the requirements of the standard significantly affected the safety rating and the overall grade,” says Hana Hoffmannová, editor-in-chief of dTest magazine.
Two highchairs failed the stability test – specifically the 4Baby Fashion and Coto Baby Stars snail models. Stability is tested by side, front and rear loading of the chairs. “This simulates a situation where the child leans over the edge of the chair or pushes his feet off the table in front of him, for example. Both of the products in question tipped backwards and therefore came away with a failing grade for stability, which was reflected in their overall rating,” Hoffmann explains.
Strict rules also apply to the restraint system – the child must not fall out of the chair, so the chairs must have either a passive or active restraint system. The laboratory found the attachment system of the Klupš chair to be inadequate and unsatisfactory, because when the belt is unbuckled, the crotch strap can be effortlessly detached, which can lead to the child falling under the counter. Therefore, this product did not succeed overall.
“In the case of the 4Baby Fashion, Coto Baby Stars snail and Klupš Aga highchairs, the manufacturer did not comply with the technical standard and these models were evaluated as unsafe in the test, which is why we have filed a complaint with the Czech Trade Inspection Authority to initiate administrative proceedings,” Hoffmann notes.
Other possible mechanical safety risks are also tested as standard. The structural design without exposed edges, sharp corners or protruding screws is always under scrutiny. The chair should not have any crevices where children could bruise or pinch their fingers.
“While the current standard only considers round holes, we followed an older, stricter version of the standard in our evaluation. You can also stick your fingers in holes of other shapes,” Hoffmann says. This shortcoming was revealed by dTest in the Peg Pérego Tatamia Follow Me dining chair, which earned it a failing grade in the design evaluation. The standard also addresses other risks – strangulation, suffocation by small parts that can be detached, or securing the wheels with brakes. In the case of folding stools, they must not spontaneously release or unfold and cause the child to fall. Fortunately, everything was fine in this respect for the chairs tested.
The use of the chairs in practical life contributed the most to the overall rating. dTest therefore loaned them to three families whose task was to observe and evaluate other aspects such as storage, cleaning, child comfort or chair handling. Ikea Langur earned a sufficient mark for the difficulty of installing the counter and removing it. Similarly, the Geuther Family product received the lowest score in the live test, mainly due to the impractical handling of the counter.