Chair unsafe for kids? What government says about "metoo" clip-on seats

metoo, chair, consumer product safety commission, 4x3
AP/Consumer Product Safety Commission
metoo, chair, consumer product safety commission, 4x3
Metoo clip-on seat
AP/Consumer Product Safety Commission

(CBS/AP) They're unsafe. That's what the government is saying about tens of thousands of tabletop feeding chairs sold for babies and toddlers.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says kids could be hurt in certain versions of the "metoo" clip-on tabletop chairs imported by Colorado-based phil&teds USA and sold online as well as at nationwide retailers such as Target and Toys R Us.

The commission says the chairs have injured about a dozen children.

The chairs have metal clamps that attach to table tops, including those in restaurants. The clamps can easily come loose, causing the chair to detach and sending the child plummeting to the floor, according to the commission. Fingers or hands can also be pinched or crushed when the chairs partially detach from a table.

The commission says the company refused to agree to a national recall that was acceptable to the agency. A call to the company in Fort Collins seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The clip-on chairs involved in the commission's warning do not have plastic spacers between the table clamps and a front metal bar.

The company also has clip-on chairs with plastic spacers between the clamps and bar - and those chairs are under investigation, the CPSC said.

On its website, the company is offering rubberized grips to cover the chair's clamps. But the grip replacement kits being offered by phil&teds will not keep children safe in the seat, says CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson.

"Even with those rubber boots, the chair can still slip off a table," said Wolfson. "We believe the company needs to come up with a free remedy that will prevent children from falling or having an amputation hazard if one side of the chair detaches."

The commission said the company had claimed on its website to be offering the replacement kits in cooperation with the CPSC. The commission says there was no such agreement.