How To Make Bunk Beds Safe

Published: 09th October 2009
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Most parents' biggest fears regarding bunk beds relate to their child being injured. These fears are well founded when you consider the number of accidents and injuries we read about in the news and see on television. For some parents, the thought of another bed, elevated above your child, that should it malfunction could come crashing down is just too much.

However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow to ensure a safe enjoyable experience with bunk beds. Many of these things may seem like common sense to many of us, but in this day and age where nobody is expected to use common sense, because everything is so heavily labeled, there is no point leaving them to chance. When you are first looking for your bunk beds, make sure they come with a railing for the top bunk.

That may seem like it should be the case with all bunk beds, but unfortunately it is not. Also you need to know the height of the railing from the bed, so when buying the mattress, you can make sure to get a mattress that comes to a height of not more than four inches from the top of the railing. You don't want your child to be able to tumble over the railing, but you also don't want your child to be able to slide out between the railing and the mattress.

A good number of the injuries that occur related to falls from a bunk bed, believe it or not, relate to the child striking or becoming entangled in an object during the fall. Minor injuries most parents can live with, and will most often make it a learning experience. My own daughter slipped on the ladder of a bunk bed not long ago, and sustained only a bruise on her side from hanging onto the ladder. It taught her not to climb the ladder in her sock feet.

You must ensure when you assemble your bunk bed that it is sturdy, and has no visible defects. It is a good idea to visually inspect the bunk beds, and all attaching hardware, on a monthly basis to ensure it has not become loose. The situating of the ladder is an important aspect of bunk bed safety. It is recommended that the ladder be placed on the long side of the bed, usually the side that faces out from the wall.

The reason for this being the preferred location is because most often ladders that attach to the front of the bunk bed are attached on at least a minimal angle. This ensures that if your child does slip and fall while on the ladder, they will not fall straight down and strike the rails of the bottom bunk.

If you must attach your ladder to the narrow end of the bed, you should only do so if the bed has wood or metal all the way across the end that the ladder will be mounted on. This is for two reasons, one, to ensure that if your child falls, they will not fall into or strike the rails of the bottom bunk. Two, it is because the ladders mounted on the narrow end of the bunk beds are almost always mounted in a straight up and down fashion.

Make sure to take the time to instruct any children who will be sleeping in the bunk beds that they are for sleeping, and are not a toy to be played on. Whether you prefer wood or metal bunk beds is a matter of personal preference. The only caution is that if you buy a wood bunk bed, it should be much heavier than it's metal counterpart. This is because wood has substantially less compression strength than metal.

Annie Deakin is a journalist, fashion and furniture expert and editor at mydeco.com and is currently very impressed by the great range of 2 seater sofas, bedroom designs and kitchen design.

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