It wasn’t so long ago that children had to make due with adult-sized chairs. Even the first chairs made exclusively for kids were simply smaller versions of adult chairs. They were hardly comfortable and often even unsafe.
Today, children’s chairs are big business and there are literally thousands of choices out on the market, from colorful chairs for school that stack to pint-sized recliners that look great in the family room or in the kid’s room.
Regardless of the brand you buy or the type of chair you choose for your children, you definitely want to know it’s safe. While there are national watchdog groups that oversee the safety of child furniture these days, you still want to exercise a bit of parental caution. As they say, “better safe than sorry!”
If you’re buying painted chairs you want to make sure that the paint used is not toxic. After the flood of media scares about toys from China being laden with lead paint, you want to double check to make sure that your chairs are painted with lead-free, non-toxic paints or lacquers. Wee ones have a habit of teething on chairs and teeth and gnaw marks aren’t unusual on school and kid’s room furnishings. You don’t want your child ingesting paint that’s not safe.
Another danger point for children’s furniture is any exposed mechanisms that could pinch the child’s skin or actually trap them. Folding chairs are a good example. While kid-sized folding chairs can be a great addition to a play area, you need to make sure that the folding mechanics are fully enclosed and that your child can’t get his or her head trapped between the legs or seat as they are folded.
You also want to be sure that the furniture isn’t too heavy. If the chair is tipped over for one reason or another, you don’t want your child to be hurt or crushed. Stick with furniture that has a low height and lightweight.
If your child loves bean bags, you want to double check to ensure that the zipper is hidden and can’t pinch your child as they play in the chair. The interior beads should also be in a separate bag, so they won’t spill out and become a potential choking hazard. You may even want to stitch the zipper pull to the chair itself so your child can’t unzip the chair and climb into it, leading to possible suffocation.
The key with selecting comfortable chairs for kids, either for a school room, an activity room or your home is to think about how creative children can be in using a chair day in and day out. A child’s imagination can be a wonderful thing, but it can also cause a chair to be pressed into service as an impromptu stepstool, spaceship, castle parapet or cliff’s edge. Think like a child and you’ll never go wrong in choosing a comfortable chair for your child that is not only stylish and useful but safe as well.