Bunk Beds Dangerous for Young Children?
As a mother whose son is a statistic of the dangers of bunk beds, you might be shocked to learn the number of accidents, and even deaths, caused by bunk beds.
When my eldest son was around 6 years old, we purchased a set of bunk beds so that he and his younger brother could share a bedroom. When he fell from the top bunk one night - despite there being a safety side in place - and suffered a serious concussion, that was the day I made the decision that I would never consider bunk beds again.
Bunk beds are considered by many parents to be great for young kids because they save so much space. You can easily fit two beds into a room in the space usually taken up by one bed. Who wouldn't want their kids to have fun and have plenty of room to move around in their bedroom. The only problem with bunk beds is that they are considered dangerous and close to 40,000 children are injured each year in the UK, most with neck and head injuries, and the recent death of a 4-year old boy sadly highlights the dangers of a bunk bed.
Most of the children treated after a fall from a bunk bed are aged 6 years or less, and it is for this reason parents should think of safer alternatives for their children than bunk beds. Even if you have one child older than 6 and one younger, don't be lulled into a sense of false security just because your older child will sleep on the top bunk and not the younger one. Every parent knows what kids can get up to behind closed doors.
Think carefully when deciding on what beds to buy for young children. Bunk beds might be considered a space-saving option, but is it worth risking their lives just for extra space? For beds designed specifically for young children, you might want to take a look at www.Design-A-Bed.co.za. With more than 15-years experience in children's beds, these guys offer a range that is low to the floor and can be fitted with safety sides.
Here are a few considerations to keep in mind in the event that a bunk bed is the only option:
• The top bunk should have a guiderail all around and on both of the sides. The safety rails should be at least 15cm above the height of the mattress. The guiderails should also be of a design that will not trap hands or feet, which can also result in serious accidents.
• Too many bunk beds are manufactured with wooden slats to support the mattress. It is in the interest of safety and security to reinforce this type of support, which is relatively easy to break.
• Position the bunk bed in the corner of a room to provide protection on two sides of the beds.
• Make sure that light fittings, blinds, curtain rails or other fixtures or fittings are not within easy reach from the bunk bed.
• Teach your children about safety when using the bunk beds and that they are not an area for play. Show them how to use the ladder properly and also ensure that the ladder is safely mounted onto the frame of the bunk bed.
Raised sides are a 'must-have' for all bunk beds - no matter the age of your child.
Even if you consider your child responsible enough for a bunk bed, there may come a time when they awake during the night to use the bathroom and are still half asleep, not realising they are on the top of a bunk bed. Don't wait for an accident to happen before realising that bunk beds are not the safest option for young children.