CHAPTER 8: FURNISHINGS AND EQUIPMENT
8.1.2 Upholstered Furniture:
scaled seating can include upholstered or exposed frame chairs, foam
If possible, choose furniture upholstered with recycled fiber fabrics, such
cubes, carpeted constructed seating, or cushions and pillows. To avoid
as PET from recycled beverage containers. Textile materials that can be
suffocation, bean bag pillows should not be used for infants.
easily removed for regular cleaning are generally preferred over fixed
8.1.6 Tables and Chairs:
Tables and chairs should be scaled to child size. Table height for infants
should be approximately 300 mm; for toddlers, 400 mm; and for pre-school
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC): Carpets must have been tested for
children, 500 mm. Chair seating heights for toddlers should be 250 mm and
VOC's and bear a green label from the Carpet and Rug Institute indicat-
300 mm for pre-school children. Infants and toddlers require high-sided
ing that the carpet emissions are within the acceptable range.
chairs. Seating shall have backs and arms with a seat height of approximately
also Section 9.3.2 for carpet requirements and Section 9.3.1 for VOC
200 mm to 300 mm for pre-kindergarten; 300 mm to 425 mm for kindergarten
and harmful ingredient restrictions for paint.)
age and older. Work surfaces or tables should have appropriate knee
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a known irritant and a probable carcino-
clearance for children in wheelchairs and shall be 600 mm above the finished
gen. Products should contain less than 0.05 parts per million (ppm) of
floor by 600 mm deep by 750 mm wide. Top surface height should be a
formaldehyde or have tested emission levels of formaldehyde lower than
maximum of 50 mm higher than knee clearance. Adjustable height is preferred.
0.05 ppm. Give preference to products made with zero added formalde-
hyde. Any product purchased with formaldehyde levels above 0.05 ppm
must bear a label in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1048.
Countertops used by toddlers should be approximately 450 mm above the
Additional harmful ingredients: See Section 9.3.1 for harmful ingredient
finished floor and 550 mm for pre-school. Counter depth should be 450
restrictions for paint, Section 9.1 for discussion of PVC (polyvinyl chlo-
mm to 500 mm when accessed from only one side. Counters that children
ride), and Section 8.2 for discussion of pressure treated lumber.
can access from both sides encourage socialization. In such case, the
counter should not be less than 610 mm.
(PBT) Pollutants Initiative focuses on the following top priority PBTs:
8.2 Play Yard Equipment
a l d r i n / d i e l d r i n , D D T, D D D , a n d D D E , m i r e x , t o x a p h e n e ,
hexachlorobenzene, chlordane, octachlorostyrene, benzo(a)pyrene,
alkyl-lead, mercury, & compounds, PCBs, and dioxins & furans. Only
The basic purpose of children's playground equipment is to stimulate play
materials and equipment whose manufacturing processes are completely
and offer challenges while safeguarding the child and minimizing hazards.
free of the above chemicals should be used in child care facilities.
Play structures should be versatile, allowing opportunities to rearrange
elements for imaginative play.
8.1.4 Storage Units:
Storage units for the children must be visible, accessible, and easy to utilize.
Major parameters in determining quality in play yard equipment are durability,
Units may be used for dual purposes, such as serving as a space divider
low maintenance, recycled content, safety, functionality, challenge, and
as well as storage. They may be movable with locking casters (except
appeal to the child. All equipment shall comply with the U.S. Consumer
where local codes prohibit), and should be designed to prevent climbing.
Product Safety Commission and their current document, Handbook for
Shelving that is open on both sides helps to create an uncluttered, light
Public Playground Safety, as well as ASTM-1487-1. Do not use wood of
appearance in the room. Sometimes a back to the shelving unit is desirable,
any kind other than the coated marine plywood used in some equipment.
and can be used to display children's art.
Instead, maximize the use of products made from recycled plastic or
recycled plastic/wood composite materials, which are inherently durable
Adult seating in the infant and toddler classroom should be soft and
comfortable to provide a place where teachers can nurture children. Child-
PBS-140 - July 2003