However, cautious parents have safety concerns. What are the dangers of falling out of bed? What kinds of injuries can happen? How common are they? Do the risks outweigh all the features and benefits?
In this article, we’ll answer the question, “Are bunk beds safe for kids?”
Facts About Bunk Bed Injuries
In the US, there are thousands of bunk bed-related injuries every year. On average, there are 36,000 per year, and the sad thing is that they’re completely preventable. Because of the height associated with the loft levels, these injuries are often more serious than if the same type of injury occurred on a regular furniture item lower to the ground.
Most injuries occur from falling off of the top during sleep or play. While it seems like bruises or broken bones would be the top type of injury sustained, it’s actually cuts that are most common, especially on the head and neck area.
Parents can find comfort in the fact that the injuries are mostly due to how toddlers use and behave on loft beds. With a little bit of parental guidance and some preparation, you can help ensure that your child’s room is a safe haven for sleep, rather than an accident waiting to happen.
Loft Bed Safety Tips
Guardrails will help prevent accidental falls that would occur from rolling off the edge. At a minimum, there must be guardrails on the top level with only a single opening for getting into and out of bed. They should extend at least five inches above the top of the mattress. Also, the width of the opening should be no more than 15 inches across.
Check Mattress foundation:
The foundation of the structure should be sturdy and firm. If you put pressure on it and push it, it shouldn’t feel rickety, wobbly or otherwise unstable. Also, make sure that the size of mattress for kids is appropriate for the foundation. For example, don’t try to size up or down, as that could make it easier to roll off or get stuck.
If you have children under six years old, they should not be allowed to sleep on the top. Since more than half of the victims of these injuries are under the age of five, this is an automatic rule.
No Playing on the Bed:
Horsing around on bunk beds is fun, and most of us have fond memories of playing on them. And if you’re anything like us, you also have some not-so-fond memories of falling and a broken wrist or two.
Boys are much more likely to be injured, just like they’re statistically more apt to play and push the limits of loft-style designs.
And while it goes without saying that no one should be playing on the top loft, it should also be noted that playing under the bed can be equally dangerous.
Use Light Lamp:
Your child should be able to see their surroundings when there’s a top bunk involved. At the very least, put a light right next to the ladder so your child can turn on a light without having to descend into utter darkness.
Where to Safely Place It
First and foremost, your child should be able to get in and out of bed easily. You should also take safety considerations into mind, and these will be dependent on the layout of the room. Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:
- Avoid putting it directly underneath or next to ceiling fans or light fixtures.
- Don’t put it up against a window.
- Check that there is ample room for your child to sit without hitting his or her head on the ceiling.
Bunk beds have evolved in both safety features and design since the days that we were kids. However, they do come with dangers. As parents, it’s important that we’re aware of what can happen if we’re not careful and attentive, and take every step we possibly can to prevent an injury.
With proper precaution, we can enjoy all the benefits that bunk beds have to offer!