Bunk Bed Safety Tips
To reduce the risk of injury, bunk bed safety rules should be taught to children, and parents should be sure the loft meets several structural standards. Bunk beds are a popular piece of bedroom furniture for parents, teens, and children. Parents appreciate how they save space, and kids love the whole idea of the bunk bed – the ladder, the height, the feeling of it being a “special” space.
Injuries Sustained from Bunk or Loft Beds
That being said, as much as kids and parents love bunk beds, they do account for nearly 36,000 injuries in the United States every year (Center for Injury Research). The following statistics might be surprising to parents.
* Children who were six years old or younger accounted for slightly less than half of those injuries.
* Kids aged 17–21 were more likely to be injured than those aged 14–17.
* Concussions accounted for 10 percent of the injuries, and fractures accounted for 20 percent.
* Thirty percent sustained serious cuts, and 25 percent suffered from bruises or scrapes.
* Children under 3 were more likely to sustain a head injury do to the fact that they have a higher center of gravity and tend to fall head first.
These facts should cause parents to reflect on the maturity of their children before they purchase a bunk or a loft. If they do decide to utilize these types of bed, parents should make sure that the bunk bed meets manufacturing standards and follow additional safety guidelines.
Mandatory Bunk Bed Standards
All bunk beds sold in the United States should meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requirements. Thousands of children are tucked in each night into a bunk bed, and these standards have helped to better ensure their safety. These manufacturing standards include:
* A label noting the bed’s manufacturer, model, and mattress size information attached to the bed.
* A warning label advising that children under six years of age not use the upper bunk.
* Beds taller than 30 inches must have a continuous guardrail on the wall side of bed.
* A child’s head, torso, or limb must not be able to pass through any openings between the slats of the top and bottom bunks.
Other Guidelines to Help Prevent Injury
The manufacturing safety standards offer a greater sense of security, but it still may not be enough to protect children. Additionally, parents can follow these suggestions to create an even safer sleeping environment.
* Do not place bunk beds near ceiling fans or tall furniture.
* Night lights assist children in using the ladder.
* Periodically check the beds and the ladders for sturdiness and tighten bolts regularly.
* Use the proper sized mattress for the top bunk.
* Be sure the bunk bed does not have any decorative finials that might catch clothing.
* Teach children that the bunk beds are a place to sleep, not a place to play.
Bunk beds can be a practical and fun element to children’s and teens’ bedrooms. With a little bit of care, parents can help prevent serious injury by making sure the bed aligns to industry standards and by enforcing safety guidelines in the home.