147 + Bacteria: A number + word you never want to see associated with the words “high chair”

by Jessica on October 11, 2010

Why OH WHY did you put me in this filthy, filthy thing?

Maybe it’s time to dig out that Chicco hook-on chair that’s gone unused for a while. My friend Noah at Squid Ink posted about disturbing — OK, totally GROSS — results of a new study of high chairs in 30 U.S. restaurants. Some 147 bacteria were found on high chairs, compared to eight on public toilets per square centimeter on average. Keep in mind, however, that an antibacterial product manufacturer sponsored the study.

Just curious: might these facts deter you from using high chairs in restaurants? Or will you do more research, in case this is more propaganda fueling the Parental Neurosis Industrial Complex? Or just hold the kid in your lap, which often happens anyway? I’ll always continue to note whether or not a restaurant has high chairs. But this news story should be good for sales of portable chairs, antibacterial wipes, and possibly those shopping cart covers that always strike me as kind of silly.

As for that first photo that runs with the Daily Mail article: show me a restaurant that stocks those adorable designy high chairs. The study might be based on American subjects, but no way could that pic have been taken in the U.S.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Amused_in_SF October 12, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Your hands are also covered with hundreds of types of bacteria (each), so it’s probably nothing to get too worried about.


Sara S October 12, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I’m sure that our high chair at home has its share, too, because these wooden ones are almost impossible to clean. This might gross a few people out, but my mother grew up in India — exposed to lots and lots of bacteria — and she barely ever gets sick; she attributes it to all of the bugs that her body had to fight off as a kid. Afraid that our obsession with avoiding bacteria will work against us over time.


Jessica October 12, 2010 at 8:23 pm

For every article like this one, there seems to be another telling us that germs are good for kids, not to wash up immediately after the park, etc. OK maybe not a 1:1 ratio, but quite a few. Yes, maybe it’ll be Purell that causes the downfall of our civilization.


Robert October 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm

According to a sales rep from Dyson (the maker of expensive vacuums and hand dryers), who came to our office recently, wet hands are 1,000 times more likely to pick up bacteria than dry hands.


Jessica October 14, 2010 at 10:07 am

Shocking to hear that news from DYSON! Well, it wouldn’t take much of a sales pitch to get me to want one of those rad hand dryers. Especially since the Dyson Animal hand vac is one of the best gifts I’ve ever received.


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