Shopping for childrens furniture can be a lot of fun and there are often adorable pieces to choose from. Keep in mind that regardless of how cute or appealing a piece of furniture may be, safety should be the first concern. Here are some safety tips to consider when choosing furniture with your infants and children in mind.
The Basics of Safe Children’s Furniture
Children’s furniture should never be made of glass. Look for furniture that has lead free paint and avoid any furniture with sharp or rough corners or edges. Always check furniture for loose screws or nails that could scratch or cut the child. Check product recalls often to ensure the furniture you have purchased has not been found to be defective.
Safely Using Antique Furniture
Many mothers like to use antique furniture in their child’s room. A crib or other piece of furniture from when you were a child can hold a lot of nostalgia, but be sure to check if the item meets current safety standards. For cribs and beds, be sure that you have a firm mattress that fits tightly. Slats on the crib should not be any more than 2 3/8 inches apart and there should not be any slats missing or broken. Bassinets, cradles and highchairs should be sure to have a sturdy bottom to them with a wide base to prevent tipping and be sure that older model highchairs include safety straps to buckle the child in. Lastly if using older furniture that is painted check the paint to ensure it does not contain lead.
Height and Construction of a Bed
Choose toddler beds that are low to the ground in case the child falls out of bed. Follow all directions if assembling the bed yourself and be sure that there are no missing pieces. Children under the age of six should not use an upper bunk bed. If using a bed with a built in guardrail, be sure there is not a gap between the mattress and rail that would cause a child to fall through.
Safely Choosing a Toy Chest or Storage
Toy chests are convenient for storage but be sure to choose one with a hinged lid that will stay propped open no matter what position it is in. This will prevent the lid from banging closed on a child. Use toy storage that is low to the ground so the child will not climb to reach something. If using taller storage such as a bookcase, consider securing it to the wall to prevent tipping.
Choosing a Safe Dresser
When shopping for a new dresser for a child’s room, consider the height. Lower, wider dressers are safer than a taller style. Lower dressers allow children to access their clothes without needing to climb or reach. Lower dressers with a wide base also are less likely to tip over. Use guards on drawers to prevent them from slamming their fingers in them. Many newer dressers have anchors on the back to allow it to be secured to the wall to prevent tipping and possibly crushing a child.