8 Safety Tips On The Use Of Bunk Beds

By in Health & Safety on 25 May 2009

Some parents may be lured to the use of bunk beds because it can definitely save space. For children, it can be exciting to sleep in a bed that is just out of the ordinary. But before you decide to purchase one, it is important to consider that these beds may come with hazards when safety precautions are not followed.

Reports have shown that the injuries related to bunk beds are not only common in children but in young adults as well. Among the common injuries recorded are cuts, bruises, and bone fractures that mostly required emergency room visits or even hospitalization. And what’s more alarming is the fact that there are potentially serious hazards in certain bunk bed designs that may result to death due to suffocation or strangulation.

While some parents may choose not to have bunk beds in their homes, these beds are still common at summer camps, boarding schools or even college dorms. But with strict standards, bunk beds are now safer than before. In deciding whether to get one for your kids, bear in mind that there are certain features that you need to look for. And you also need to make sure that your kids are responsible enough to observe safety rules at home.

If you are looking around for one, look for the safety label required by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. It should indicate the bed’s manufacturer model, mattress size information, and other safety precautions on proper use. A safe bunk bed is one that has guardrails on both sides of the upper bunk bed. Another feature that you need to look for is that the openings on the upper and lower bunks must be small enough so that your kids head, trunk, arms and legs could not pass through them. If you have made a sound decision, you may also observe these added tips to promote safety at home:

1.Explain to your kids the safety measures that should be observed with bunk bed use. Aside from that, it may also help if you initially observe and guide your kids on how to properly behave on bunk beds. Some bunk beds come with weight restrictions and these should strictly be observed. It is also vital that you teach your kids how to safely go up and climb down the ladder. Likewise, they should be discouraged form using other pieces of furniture in place of ladders.

2.Children under 6 years old should never be allowed to sleep on the top bunk. If you feel that your six-year old child is still not ready, never hesitate to put it off. It’s always best to base your decision on your child’s readiness.

3.Make your own house rules to prevent injuries. No rough playing on bunk beds, and more importantly it should never be used as a jumping platform. Falls account to the most number of bunk bed-related injuries with concussions and skull fractures among some of the serious ones.

4.Make sure that you purchase the right mattresses for the bunk beds. The appropriate size is usually indicated on the safety label and these should strictly be followed.

5.Guardrails should measure at least 5 inches above the mattress surface otherwise it will not keep a child from rolling or falling off.

6.Position the bunk bed in a safe area in your kids’ bedroom. This should be away from ceiling fans or light fixtures to prevent curious hands from getting injuries.

7.Use a night light. Bunk beds and night lights should always go together. This is to ensure that kids can safely go to the toilet or elsewhere in the middle of the night.

8.Routinely check the guardrails and other support features of the bunk bed. This is to ensure that all screws or bolts are in place. Be certain that you also check the stability of the ladder so that injuries can be prevented.

When purchasing a product, parents will always have various concerns. But when you follow precautionary measures, you can greatly reduce the chances of kids being injured. Sometimes, your own instinct can guide you in making the right decision for your kids.

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