Each year, thousands of children under age 15 receive hospital emergency room treatment for injuries associated with bunk beds. Most of these injuries are fairly minor and occur when children fall from the beds. Horseplay frequently contributes to these accidents. There are other less obvious yet potentially very serious hazards associated with bunk bed structures that have entrapped children and resulted in suffocation orstrangulation deaths.
To keep your kids safe when sleeping in a bunk bed, you should:
- always use two side guardrails on the upper bunk. Keep guardrails securely in place at all times no matter what the age of the child. Children move about during sleep and may roll out of bed.
- not permit children under 6 years of age to sleep in the upper bunk.
- be sure crossties are under the mattress foundation of each bed and that they are secured in place even if bunks are used as twin beds.
- emphasize to children to use the ladder and not chairs or other pieces of furniture to climb into orout of the top bunk.
- teach children that rough play is unsafe around and on beds and other furniture.
- consider using a night light so that children will be able to see the ladder if they get up during the night.