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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

New Standard for Portable Bed Rails

By February 24, 2012

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Portable bed rails are sometimes used when parents choose to use an adult side bed instead of a toddler bed for preschoolers and younger school age children. They can be used on the side of an adult bed to keep children from falling out.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has adopted a new federal safety standard for these bed rails that will hopefully make them safer, including that they meet the following requirements:

  • Portable bed rails must not create a dangerous gap with the mattress into which a child can fall.
  • They must be tested to make sure the bed rail hardware is permanently attached, and that the components cannot be assembled in an unsafe manner.
  • Bed rails must have improved warnings on labels and instructions.
  • Installation components, such as anchor or straps, must be permanently attached to the bed rail. These component parts also must have a warning label on them.
  • Bed rails must not have hazardous sharp edges, points or small parts.

The new safety standards also include warnings against using the rails with children under age two years.

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