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Safety Tips For Bunk Beds

Aug 4, 2008
Bunk beds are a great inclusion in children's bedrooms, they can save large amounts of space and kids love them because they can sleep at an elevated level. Of course a major concern is who gets the top bunk but in most cases the youngest child should take the bottom bunk, the eldest taking the top. As a design feature bunk beds can transform a room creating a space that is unique and magical. Naturally however parents may have concerns for their children's safety when selecting bunk beds, kids often fall out of bed so ensuring their safety is a paramount concern. Here is some advice however that should help you select bunk beds and ensure the safe sleeping of your children.

If your children are too young bunk beds may not be the best option. Most beds have a sticker that gives the minimum age of the child who should sleep in it. Generally until a child is over six years old then the top bunk should be out of the question. This rule however is often ignored but even if it is adhered to, children cannot be monitored at all times. The majority of bunk bed accidents occur when children are playing in their bunk rather than sleeping in it, even if you have designated the top bunk for an older child it can be difficult to keep the younger out of the bunk.

This is why as a parent it is essential to lay down firm rules when obtaining bunk beds. Instil in children the importance of staying out of the bunk for play and make clear it is an area for sleep, not recreation. In addition when installing the beds, make sure there is no other furniture in the vicinity with sharp corners that could cause injury should a fall occur. Ideally placing soft furnishings such as bean bags and cushions can help to soften the impact should a fall occur. In the same vein ensuring toys are cleared away around the bunk is advisable to avoid injury.

Once again making sure your children understand that the ladder should always be used to enter the bed, climbing all over the frame can also cause injury. There will normally be some form of safety standard with the bed that should ensure that it is sturdy enough to stand up to the rigours of everyday life. Additionally however, performing maintenance tasks such as tightening screws and bolts every now and again is advisable.

The top bunk should always have guardrails on all four sides to ensure that falls are kept to a minimum. Normally the bed will be placed against the wall but this does not mean that the guardrails can be taken away; the instances of children becoming stuck between the bed and wall are quite common. A gap of around ten centimetres between the rail and the bed is advisable; otherwise the child can become trapped between the rail and mattress. In terms of the mattress it is vital to ensure it fits snugly into the bed on all sides.

Hopefully this advice will give parents piece of mind when they are installing bunk beds into children's rooms. By ensuring the kids recognise that the bed is a risk can be considered important. With good parenting however it should be possible to keep any instances of falls down to a minimum. Bunk beds are an attractive and space saving way to kit out a room, ultimately they are safe as long as they are used properly.
About the Author
Interior design expert Thomas Pretty looks into the safety aspects surrounding childrens bunk beds and how they make a great design feature.
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