Safely feeding your baby – high chairs and bibs

To help keep your child safe while they're eating, supervise them in highchairs and don't leave their bib on after they've eaten.

What you need to know

There is a risk that children can fall from high chairs when:

  • there's no adult supervision
  • safety straps are not used
  • safety straps don't work properly.

When you're feeding your baby, the best bib is a cloth bib with a full collar — no plastic and no ties.

What you need to do

  • High chairs

    Look for a highchair that has:

    • a wide base to stop the chair from tipping when a child is sitting in it
    • a tray that can be adjusted and locked easily and securely in place, which doesn't expose holes to trap fingers when removed
    • edges that are smooth and rounded
    • 5 point safety straps — straps that go over shoulders, around the waist and between the legs (or the capacity to have one of these fitted)
    • tube ends that are sealed to prevent the child's fingers getting trapped
    • locks on folding chairs that will stay locked under the weight of a child
    • compliance with a British Standard (BS), American Standard (ASTM or CFR) or Australian/New Zealand Standard (AS/NZS).

    Using a high chair safely

    • Check the high chair for hazards — make sure there are no splits in the chair's seat or back — a child could pick out and choke on pieces of foam padding.
    • Make sure the chair is on a level surface — it could tip if one leg is resting on a rug.
    • Place the high chair where a child can't push with their legs against nearby furniture or walls and tip the chair over.
    • Make sure electrical cords and other hazards are out of reach of a child in a chair.
    • Never fix a hook-on porta chair on the flap of an extension table.
    • Put the child in the seat carefully, and fasten all straps.
    • Make sure you don't trap the child's hands, fingers, or head when you raise or lower the tray.
    • Always watch a child in a high chair.
    • Stop your child from standing in the chair or climbing in or out of it — it can easily tip over or the child could fall.
    • Check that your child cannot reach the table with their feet in a hook-on porta chair — they might be able to get the chair off by pushing against the table.
  • Hook-on porta-chairs

    This type of chair is clamped on to the side of a table. Make sure that:

    • the chair is suitable to use with your type of table
    • all the edges are smooth and rounded
    • the chair has safety straps to hold the child
    • there is a locking clamp to secure the chair to the table
    • the support arms have rubber or plastic tips to improve the grip on the table.

    Using a hook-on porta-chair safely

    • Always fasten the safety straps.
    • Fasten the chair securely to the main table and not to an extension.
    • Make sure the child cannot reach any hazards on the table, such as hot food, hot drinks or knives.
    • Make sure the child cannot reach parts of the table with his or her feet.
    • Keep electrical cords and other hazards out of reach.
    • Watch a child in the chair – if a child pushes the chair away from the table, they may fall backwards on to the floor.
  • Bibs

    • Plastic-backed bibs can be a suffocation hazard.
    • Tie ribbons can be a choking hazard — make sure bib ties are fastened securely so your baby can't play with them.
    • Remove the bib:
      • immediately after feeding, and
      • before lying your baby down.
    • If you do use a bib after feeding, only use it when:
      • you're holding your baby, or
      • your baby is sitting up and near you.

If you have a safety problem or concern

If you have some concerns about the safety of a product or if you’re injured by a product, you should tell the retailer or supplier about it.

You also have the right to ask for a remedy such as a refund, replacement, or repair under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA). One of the guarantees in the CGA is that products must be of acceptable quality, and this includes that the product is safe.

Faulty products – Consumer Protection(external link)

In addition, it’s good to report the details to us – product safety reports from the public help government agencies to identify systemic issues and help us to prioritise and respond to issues.

Report an unsafe product