While a high chair will help the baby join the dinner table and learn how to sit uprightly, it isn’t without its fair share of risks. The risk is even higher if you’re having a dinner (or lunch for that matter) at a restaurant.
For starters, there aren’t as many restaurants that offer baby high chairs, and for those that have them, there’s a lot of concern about their safety. And no, we are not talking about your child tipping over when sitting on the chair but rather the degree of cleanliness.
Are High Chairs in Restaurants Really Clean?
In most cases, the chairs aren’t as clean as they appear. As a matter of fact, they could harbor more dirt (and germs) than any other piece of furniture in the restaurant.
Not many parents take their toddlers to the restaurants and even those who do so hardly use baby high chairs. What does that mean? It means that a high chair in a restaurant most likely get an occasional wipe and as a result is never clean.
Using such a seat, therefore, could turn out to be a nightmare – literally speaking. By nature, children will almost certainly try to put everything they can lay their hands on (including food that spills on a high chair’s tray) in the mouth. As you would imagine, the tray could be harboring dangerous bacteria such as Staph and E-coli.
In fact, it is not uncommon to hear parents complaining that their baby suffered a stomach upset hours after having a meal in a restaurant.
How is this possible when a waitress will wipe the high chair a few minutes before serving a meal? Well, while this is a complex subject, it is primarily because the detergent stops working after it has dried. In other words, bacteria start accumulating on the food tray a few seconds after wiping.
So, Is Eating at Home Any Better?
Due to the high degree of contamination in high chairs at restaurants, it is easy to conclude that the best way to keep the young one safe is to avoid frequenting eateries altogether. But, does eating at home shield your baby from harm?
On paper, it may seem like high chairs at home are cleaner in comparison to those in restaurants, hence “safer.” However, repeated studies show that more than 50% of high chairs trays in homes have the same degree of contamination as those in restaurants. It, therefore, means that because a high chair is at home, it is necessarily any safer.
There is a difference, though; for a chair at home, you can clean them yourself, and it boils down to your cleaning efforts and strategies. They type of cleaning product you use equally important.
How Can You Keep High Chair at Home Clean?
It starts with choosing the correct cleaning product. Be sure to scout for a detergent that’s gentle most importantly safe for the young one’s sensitive skin. Avoid products formulated using harmful ingredients such as alcohol. Be on the lookout for toxic formulations such as “Triclosan.” Even though some of these products are cheap, you can in no way compromise your child’s safety.
So, Which is the Best Product for Cleaning High Chairs?
Look for a product that doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. While you’re at it, ensure that it’s hypoallergenic and that long lasting germ-killing effect. The longer the bacteria killing effect, the better the protection. Ensure that the disinfectant is food safe as well.
One such product is the Steri-7 Disinfectant Cleaner. Among other things, it is marketed as having the ability to last an amazing seven days after initial application. It is available in surface wipes and trigger sprays. There’s also a hand care range that offers protection for up to three hours.
If not properly cleaned, a high chair food tray can cause untold problems for your child and make you spend substantial amounts of money in hospital bills. But, as outlined above, it doesn’t have to be that way; not with the correct disinfectant. That said, if you’re serious about keeping your baby safe in a high chair, take the necessary measures to ensure that the tray stays clean and avoid the nightmare that is acute stomach upsets, vomiting, and diarrhea.