Research on safety concerning infant furniture

Design of cot

Since the furniture is meant for a wide age range from infants to adults, special consideration has to be taken into the design of the cot to ensure safety for babies. First and foremost, the design of the cot has to be such that there are no drop-sides. A drop-side is basically the gap between the mattress and the side railing. If the gap is too wide, there is a risk of the infant’s head getting trapped in the space which results in suffocation. Generally, the rule of thumb is to ensure the gap is no more than 2cm apart. As such, the buaian chair is designed to eliminate any gaps along the sides of the cot with a sturdier mattress/cushion base and a firm side railing. Additionally, the spacing between each railing is kept at 4cm apart to prevent the infant from either crawling out or getting his head stuck between the poles. This also adheres to the EU standard for cots of having poles no more than 6cm apart.

Material of cot

The base material of the cot should be made from environmentally-friendly material which produces less harmful chemicals. Conventional plywood is made of thin veneers of wood that are bonded together with formaldehyde resins.

The majority of hardwood plywood, used indoors for cabinetry and paneling, are composed of a core layer faced with higher quality woods using urea-formaldehyde (UF) glue. Softwood plywood is used for exterior and structural applications (walls, floors, roofs), and its adhesive consists of phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin. PF, a more expensive, water-resistant glue, off-gasses at a considerably slower rate than UF glues.

Particleboard, used primarily indoors for furniture and cabinets, is made from wood chips and other plant fibers bonded with formaldehyde-based resins. Fortunately, a new generation of products are created with little to no formaldehyde added. This gives consumers the option to replace plywood and particleboard cabinets and furniture throughout your house.

Choice of paint for cot

In addition, extra care should be placed on children’s furniture with regards to the use of paint, it should use lead-free non-toxic paints for children’s furniture without stimulation for MDF (medium density fiber) board, and we should check its formaldehyde emission level before we purchase them. According to EN71, all MDF used in children’s furniture must be at least E1(1.5mg/l) level.

Author: Ivy Lee

I am currently a Year 4 student studying Product Design in NTU ADM. I love things that are fun and interesting.