Tables and chairs for children should be safe for use. The edges and angles should be smooth, and the materials should not cause any irritation to the children’s eyes, nose, throat and overall health. While wood or different types of plastics have been used until now, more research is being done to make children’s furniture as safe as possible. Lilly & Lolly, a leading manufacturer of quality children’s furniture, discusses the different materials to help you make an informed decision.
Wood-based boards are now generally used for children’s tables, chairs, cabinets, and other commonly used pieces. There are three types of boards – particle, laminated, and fibre. Block board and plywood are laminated boards, where wood of varying grains are glued together to lend rigidity. Flex board and chipboard are particleboards, where the particles of different sizes are bonded together with binding resin. Fibreboards are of different types depending on the size of the fibres, the bonding agent used, and the mode of drying and pressing.
Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) is one of the most popular materials used for children’s tables and chairs. They’re known for their stability, great finish and versatility. MDF generates a lot of dust while the work is in progress. But, once it’s finished and the article is painted, dusts become less of an issue. Therefore, chairs, benches, and tables of MDF do not pose any kind of risk to children.
The manufacturing of MDF involves a dry process at very low temperatures. This process renders the bonding agents and resins used within the boards ineffective in causing any harm. These boards are excellent for children’s furniture, as they are durable and strong. After veneering or painting, the material looks very attractive, too.
Plastic is a wonderful material, as it is waterproof, lightweight, and durable. But, plastic and the softening agents used while moulding it can be very harmful. Plasticizer and PVC are known carcinogenic agents and hormone disrupters. So, unless all the material used is known to be safe, it is not advisable to fill your child’s room with this kind of material. Wood is safe material, but the articles made out of it should also be safe. The edges, finishing, and other features should be child-friendly, too.