Northern Ky. family in shock after toddler’s high-chair collapsed at dinner

Family in shock after toddler’s high-chair collapsed at dinner

BOONE COUNTY, Ky. (FOX19) - A Boone County family is still in shock after their toddler’s high-chair collapsed, dropping to the floor while out to dinner.

His mother, Brooke Patterson, said he is OK so far but baby Nicholas was pretty fussy all Thursday night after it happened. He threw-up not long after hitting the floor and the family took him to the doctor, suspecting a concussion. He also has some scrapes and bruising.

The family hopes by sharing their story, people will think twice before putting their baby in any restaurant’s high chair.

“I was screaming, I was screaming,” she said. “Somebody help me, get him!”

"Well it sounded like a bomb went off at Cheddar’s too, because she was screaming,” said her husband, Nick Patterson. “The people at the iHop, WalMart could probably hear her next door.”

A pile of broken, wooden parts is all that is left of the high chair. Their baby had been sitting in it at a Cheddar’s in Florence.

“He was holding on to the armrest, the little bar that went across him, and that fell out -- and I tried putting it back," said Brooke Patterson. "And as I was going up to get it, the entire thing fell apart!”

She said the manager kept checking on them every few minutes, and even comp’d their meals, but they never had time to sit and enjoy eating their dinner.

"(Nicholas) threw-up about 15 to 20 minutes after it happened,” said Brooke Patterson.

“The doctor pretty much felt around his head and his ears for bleeding,” said Nick Patterson. “She just wanted to make sure there was nothing going on with his head.”

The couple said Cheddar’s Director of Corporate Operations called them late Thursday night to see if the baby was OK.

Cheddar’s spokesperson Rich Jeffers told FOX19 NOW on Friday: “We’re glad that the child was not injured. This is the first time anyone in the company has ever heard of something like this happening. We immediately sent emails to our 150-plus restaurants, asking management to check their highchairs for safety.”

Starting next month, new federal standards go into effect from the Consumer Products Safety Commission, designed to improve the safety of all high chairs, including those used in restaurants. There are features designed to enhance stability, offer warning labels and improve restraint systems. By June 19, all high chairs made in, or imported to the U.S., must meet these new standards.

"Check out your own chair if you’re sitting at a table, you just can’t trust that stuff. You never know,” said Brooke Patterson.

From 2011 through 2016, an estimated 18,500 high-chair-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of those injuries that resulted in emergency room visits, the CSPC estimated 1,600 were from incidents that occurred in restaurants.

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