Highchairs: a guide for parents with disabilities
This report is based on an assessment of 12 different highchairs by 27 disabled adults. It gives advice on different types, ease of use and features to look for. This guide was originally published in 2004. Contact and price details were however updated in 2010.
About this guide
Feeding time should also be fun time. This Guide should help you to find a highchair that your baby or toddler likes to be in and that you find easy to use, whatever your abilities.
We selected 12 highchairs from around 50 available in the shops. They include three types - standard, multi-position and convertible. Each had features that you are likely to come across. The 12 highchairs were assessed by 27 adults with disabilities. This Guide reports on their findings.
First we explain the types of highchair available and then describe in some detail their different features. This section should help you decide what is worth having and whether you are likely to be able to use them. At the end of What to look for there is a brief summary of features to look for depending on your abilities. This is followed by advice from a safety expert on How to stay safe in a highchair .
The Buying guide names the highchairs rated easiest to use by the disabled testers. See the individual product Summaries for their detailed verdicts on all the assessed highchairs. Finally there are contact details of Helpful organisations and Suppliers' details so you can get further information about highchair models.
You can download the original 2004 report in Adobe Acrobat PDF format (272 Kb) here. Please note that it has not been updated, and the Internet pages have more up-to-date contact details.
We are grateful to the Department of Health for funding this guide.
Our thanks go to the 27 people with disabilities who assessed highchairs for us.
Research: Lindsey Etchell, Jamie Keddie
Design: Sarah Watson
Photography: Robin Beckham, Ginette Chapman
Illustration: Cyrus Deboo
Twenty-seven parents and other adults with disabilities each assessed 12 different highchairs for their ease of use. They put life-size dolls into the highchair seats and strapped them in, took them out and moved the highchairs across a room. Depending on the highchair's features, they adjusted trays in and out and removed them, adjusted chair heights, locked and unlocked wheels, folded and unfolded highchairs and converted them to and from low tables and chairs. Their ratings were on a five- point scale from very good to very poor.
The testers had a range of needs as users of highchairs. They included people with impaired manual dexterity, partial sight, no sight, walking difficulties and wheelchair users. All the highchair testers are members of the Ricability Inclusive Design Panel, which has over 300 members with disabilities. Our Panel is based at the Intertek Research and Testing Centre. Panel members help us to assess the ease of use of products for people of all abilities.
Tell us what you think!
After you have read this report, please answer two simple questions about it. What you tell us will be used when we update it. Click questionnaire - it opens in a new window.
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Next Section: Pushchairs