I have just completed construction of a deck at our weekend house along the Northern California coast and am looking into finishes. My concern is that I have an infant who will be crawling on the deck and I do not want to put anything on it that could be harmful to her, either by ingesting food that dropped on the deck, picking up treated splinters, licking the deck, or anything else an infant might do. Information that I have seen indicates that finishes that contain mildewcides should not be used on seating, so I expect that I would not want to use these on our deck for a few years (or more if we will be having friends with children coming up to the house).
My wife and I prefer a natural looking deck, so would prefer not to have pigments in the finish (or at least minimize the pigment).
Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Also, we welcome any comments that will help put the risks of different finishes to infants in better perspective for us.