Bunk Bed Safety Tips
Children under 6 years of age, by law, are not allowed to use the top bunk. Safety should be your primary consideration in deciding whether a bunk bed is a good fit for you and your family. If you go ahead with it, make sure to educate your children regarding the dangers associated with bunk beds. When your child sleeps, he or she is elevated. Hence it is vital that proper railing is installed. This is why preference for sleeping on the top bunk is given to the child who is older.
Construction standards and safety warnings for bunk bed manufacturers are mandated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and voluntary standards are promulgated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The CPSC and the ASTM continue to work together to set standards for safety as information and concerns evolve regarding bunk bed safety. Check out their website for more detailed information.
Please be aware that upper-bunk safety rails are required by the federal regulations even if the upper bunk is to be used only by an adult. Here is a printed copy of all the safety information that you can review. I would highly recommend you to go through it if you’re serious about purchasing a bunk bed. Once you’re done reading, make sure to have a talk with your little ones and explain it to them too.
Other than the regular safety procedures, you can also do stuff on your own to mitigate any chances of accidents or injuries. Quickly glance through the points below and keep them in mind for future reference.
Tip #1: Bunk Beds Are Not Suited For All Children
As a general rule, if your children are under the age of 6 you are going to want to give them the bottom bunk, or make sure that they have their own separate bed. A large portion of the accidents that happen on bunk beds occur with children under the age of 6, and could be avoided by not allowing them to sleep on the bed.
Tip #2: Make Sure That The Bed Is Sturdy
If you are purchasing a set of used bunk beds you are going to want to make sure that all of the hardware is enclosed and that the final constructed product is built using sturdy construction. If there are missing hardware pieces, or the bunk beds look like they were poorly taken apart and stored, you may want to consider avoiding the purchase.
Tip #3: Take The Time To Check Reviews Of Different Bunk Beds
When you are buying bunk beds for your kids over the internet you will want to take the time to look at reviews, or make sure that multiple people have purchased the bunk beds without leaving negative reviews. When people are pleased with the product they will typically take the time to leave a positive review, however this does not always happen.
Tip #4: Follow The Manufacturer’s Instructions For Building The Bunk Beds
To ensure that the bunk beds are constructed properly and are not going to pose a risk to your children you will want to make sure that they are constructed according to the manufacturer’s specifications. This will also help you make sure that you have something to fall back on should problems ever arise in the construction of the beds.
Tip #5: Make Sure Your Kids Understand The Dangers
Another great way to make sure that you never have to deal with problems associated with bunk beds is to make sure that your children understand the different dangers that can occur. This will help them understand what they shouldn’t be doing, and why they shouldn’t be doing it.
Tip #6: Check The Bunk Beds Periodically For Stability
After the bunk beds are built in your home you will want to take time out each month to check the construction and make sure that all of the hardware is still in tact, and that the beds are not beginning to fall apart.
If you do purchase a bunk bed, take the time to give your children instructions about all the safety issues. You wouldn’t buy them a pony and tell them to just go have fun – there would be strict rules and procedures they would have to learn. And the rules would be enforced. You should treat a bunk bed the same way.
One other thought, if a child under 12 years of age is to use the lower bunk, we strongly recommend that a safety rail be added to the wall side of the lower bunk to prevent the child from becoming entrapped between the wall and the bed. This is not a requirement in the federal regulations, just a recommendation from us for the safety of your child.
- Use a night light
- Don’t place the bed close to a window blind cord or a light cord
- Don’t allow toys or other items in the top bunk that have loose straps or cords
- Don’t place the bed close to a ceiling fan or hot ceiling light
- Don’t jump on the top bunk
- Don’t jump from or hang from the top bunk safety rails or end structures
- When climbing up or down the ladder, always face the bed – facing away
- from the bed can cause severe injury
- Do not allow anyone on the bottom bed to kick or push against the top mattress foundation
- Give consideration to whether the bed will block access to a window that may be needed for escape in case of fire.