6 Must Knows About High Chairs NZ & AU

What kind of high chair is best?


Simple! There is a testing standard in AU/NZ that Highchairs should be tested to. This is:


High Chair Standard - AS4684-2009


Many toddlers are injured from preventable accidents in high chairs, booster seats and hook-on seats. Falls related injuries are the number one cause of hospitalisation in New Zealand. ACC claims costs from child falls amount to $45,000,000.00 on average per year. This highlights just how crucial it is to ensure the highchair that you choose for your child has been well researched and complies with the High Chair Standard - AS4684-2009.

A high chair is designed to give a child a safe place to eat meals, sitting up at your level. High chairs are used when a child can sit up and has started to eat solid food. A high chair can be very useful but you should inspect it to make sure it is really safe prior to choosing which high chair is best for your child.

Freestanding high chairs should comply with the safety requirements of Australian & New Zealand Standard AS 4684-2009.


The number of accidents that babies and children have in high chairs is alarming.


Child falls cost ACC $45 MILLION on average per year. This highlights the number of preventable accidents that occur in New Zealand homes. If a toddler stands on the highchair seat or rocks the chair they can fall or even be strangled.


6 High Chair questions you need to ask prior to purchase. 


1. Has it been put through rigorous side and rear stability testing to see if the high chair will topple over?

Look at the design of the high chair. Does it has stability feet at the rear and sides? High Chairs must have both rearward and sideways stability features, making it harder for chairs to fall over if a child pushes against something while in the high chair.

Another fact to look at is - does the chair clearly have a safety sticker that states the testing standard it complies with? The Australian & New Zealand Standard AS 4684-2009, states that a high chair that is compliant with this standard, must have clear labelling stating this standard.

Therefore high chairs that comply with the above standard will clearly state the standard on a visible sticker on the chair. High chairs with no sticker stating this standard should be questioned. 


2. Has it been put through strength of construction testing?

Toddlers can be rough on high chairs, which is understandable as they are still learning right from wrong. Therefore it is the parent or carer's responsibility to ensure the highchair that they select for their child is sturdy, robust and durable.

High chairs that comply with safety standard AS 4684-2009 have been put through rigorous weight testing to ensure that they are strong and safe products. 


3. Assess for a finger entrapment risks while the child is using the high chair.

It is crucial to assess if there are small gaps where a child could get their fingers, arms, or other limbs stuck. The AS 4684-2009 standard states extremely strict measurements that small holes (ie harness holes) must comply with. This is so the harness holes are large enough so as not to trap fingers, but small enough to not allow little wrists through. 


4. Are there holes that could trap a head, or any parts that could be a choking hazard?

In addition to point 3 above, it is also important to assess the size of any handle holes or other large holes. Such gaps must be large enough for an adult hand to fit through, but small enough so no heads fit through. Again the High Chair Standard - AS4684-2009, states extremely tight measurement restrictions for all holes and gaps in a High Chair, and without the safety sticker that states this standard, it must be questioned whether or not the high chair in question is safe.

There should also not be small parts attached to the high chair that a toddler could choke on. This is paramount to check and assess prior to purchase and use. 


5. Does the high chair comes with a FIVE-POINT harness and adequate side and back protection?

3 point harnesses are not enough as most 3 point harnesses do not have shoulder straps that ensure a child cannot climb up and out of the high chair.

Testing to the Standard AS 4684-2009 and compliance with this standard means the high chair in question will be supplied with either a 5 point harness or full body harness.


6. Will the High Chair last for years? Does it have more than 1 function?

This is a test of not only of durability, but versatility. Has the high chair got other uses that you can use it for, or is is solely a high chair? In today's society where we are more environmentally and space conscious than ever before this is a important fact to explore.

A high chair that can be converted into other uses is not only easier on the purse or wallet strings, but better for our environment. Multi-functional high chairs also save you space.

Take The Arc Assistant 5 in 1 below for example. The high chair conversion within the Arc Assistant 5 in 1 is fully compliant with the above questions and high chair standard AS 4684-2009. In addition to this, when not being used as a high chair, it can be converted to 4 other functions (and back again, with no tools). These functions include a Toy Box conversion, a Book Shelf conversion, an island bench conversion and most importantly the Arc Assistant learning tower conversion. 

The Arc Assistant Learning Tower facilitates 1000s of extra connected activities with you. The more connected activities with you in the Arc Assistant Learning Tower during their first 1000 days the better their brain's develop during this crucial time. 

As loved and used by Nathan Wallis, Dorothy Waide, Nadia Lim, Toni Street, Valerie Adams. Also endorsed by Stuff, Tots to Teens, Baby on the Move, Babyology, Trends and many more amazing New Zealanders and Australians.


At Arc NZ Baby, safety is a vital part of our testing. The Arc Assistant 5 in 1 High Chair complies with the Australia and New Zealand High Chair Standard: AS4684-2009.

The Arc Assistant 5 in 1 high chair and learning tower, showing the five convertible products that it turns into, including the high chair, learning tower, book shelf, toy box and island bench

Always read and follow instructions and warnings before use.