When it comes to kids, safety should always come first. Sometimes, we perceive danger as something external to our home, but our kids’ primary environment, our own homes, is full of potential danger. Furniture included. This is why it’s important to make sure any furniture we bring into our home is safe for our children.
This article will help you explore the five features you should look for when choosing kid-friendly furniture. These can help you ensure that your kids have a secure environment where they can play and grow. So let’s get started.
1. Rounded Edges
Your adventurous little ones are always on the move. To them, even a simple piece of furniture can be an exciting new plaything. Plus, as they are kids, expect them to stumble every once in a while. When that happens, you would want their bodies away from anything that can cause them harm.
With sharp edges lurking around every corner, choosing child-friendly furniture that puts safety first is important. Keep your little explorers safe and happy by choosing furniture with safe, rounded edges. You can easily install corner guards if your existing pieces at home have sharp edges. They’re very affordable, so no worries about the extra cost.
2. Stability and Durability
Children enjoy climbing and exploring every nook and cranny. As parents, you must let them embark on these little adventures while ensuring your kids’ safety. So, the furniture you select for your child should be tough and stable. You don’t want the furniture suddenly falling apart as your child climbs on it.
Make sure the furniture is made of durable materials. It should be strong and sturdy enough to support your child’s weight without wobbling or bending. Look for materials like solid wood or metal, which can take a few knocks and tumbles. Plastic is a popular choice of material, but it’s not as sustainable or environment friendly.
Aside from being long-lasting, look for lightweight and compact pieces so they can be moved from one room to another.
3. Free of Toxic Chemicals
When buying furniture for your little ones, there’s one thing you can’t overlook: toxic chemicals. Make it a point to ensure that your children’s furniture is free from harsh chemicals, usually lurking in the materials or paint.
To ensure the furniture you’re buying is kid-friendly, you must find these features:
- Organic Wood Finish. Go for furniture with a zero VOC finish, often containing organic ingredients such as tung, linseed, and beeswax. Additionally, wood stains made with ingredients like coffee, tea, beet, and turmeric can give pieces a natural, colorful glow. There are also friendlier wood paints with lesser VOCs in the market.
- Natural Solid Wood. We recommend solid wood furniture because it is durable and sustainable. When your little ones grow up, you can pass down the piece to anyone in the family or resell it for a good price.
- Natural Upholstery. For natural upholstery, use wool and natural latex for cushion fillings. Organic cotton and hemp are good fabric layer options. Look for certifications like GREENGUARD Gold Certification, Global Organic Latex Standard (GOLS), Global Organic Textile Standard, and OEKO-TEX Standard 100.
When choosing kid-friendly furniture, it is important to consider the ease of cleaning and maintenance. Go for pieces that allow children to play freely without you (and them) fearing stains or spills. There are many opportunities for playtime messes, which are simply beyond your control, such as crumbs from snacks or markers and paints from crafts.
Easy cleaning applies more to the textile we use for furniture. Choose a fabric designed to resist stains, dirt, scratches, and spills, making it suitable for families with young children and pets. They should be detachable, machine washable, and have extra liners for enhanced spill protection.
5. Lockable and Unclimbable
Kids are curious little explorers who want to touch everything in your home, even if it’s out of reach. And if they can’t reach it, they’ll do whatever it takes to get to it. That means any furniture that looks like a good ladder is climbable to them. So, watch out for bookshelves and tall stacks of drawers.
Climbing carries the risk of falling, which can result in injuries, and of course, you want to keep your kids safe. This is why childproofing is very important. To keep your child from opening drawers and cabinets, you can lock them shut. You have two options: traditional drawer catches or versatile locking straps. Both are easy to install and allow you to keep your drawers closed and prevent them from being used as ladders.
Bookshelves are a little tricky. Your best option is to relocate them to another area in your house inaccessible to toddlers. Although there are many DIY options, childproofing shelves are not guaranteed to prevent your kids from climbing them. Another thing, it’s best to anchor shelves to the walls to minimize the risk of falling.
Bonus Feature: Flexible and Adaptable
This one is more on practicality rather than safety. Go for furniture that’s designed with multiple growth stages in mind. Children outgrow furniture quickly, which can be frustrating if you invest in expensive pieces for their room.
Instead of constantly replacing furniture, use adaptable and modular pieces your children can use at different ages. For example, there are modular tables now that can be adjustable from toddler play tables to school-age desks.
Although a considerable investment initially, flexible furniture saves you money in the long run.