If your children share a bedroom, bunk beds definitely seem to be the best sleeping option. Yet they involve following some safety rules which you and the kids ought to be aware of.
When buying a bunk bed bear in mind that it must meet safety standards, and the assembly should be conducted with strict accordance to the instructions so as to ensure the safety of the bed.
What needs to be known for safe use
- Here are some simple rules your children must stick to:
- the top bunk can be used by children not younger than 6
- climbing up and down from the top bunk must be done by the ladder only
- no heavy things or large toys can be kept on the top bunk
- only one child at a time can occupy the top bunk
- playing on the lower bunk can be allowed only if it is designed for playing by the manufacturer
- nothing should ever be tied to the bed at any time: the child can get caught in a rope or a cord and injure or strangle himself
Children can get injured mostly through (as reported):
- falling off the top bunk
- getting trapped in parts of the bed
- getting caught between parts of the bed and the mattress
- getting tangled and strangled by cords that have been tied to the bed
- Steps to take when purchasing a bunk bed
- You need to make sure the bed you’ve chosen is sturdily built and safe to use.
- Your bunk ought to meet the latest ASTM International F1427 standard. You can check for the compliance on the manufacturer’s webside, by inquiring from your retailer or by reading the label.
- Examine the bed for the presence of a safety label, a manual with assembly and use instructions, and for the absence of outer damages (like cracks or holes).
- Check for guardrails even on the side which will be against the wall.
- The ladder and the corner posts should not protrude more than 2 inches beyond the guardrails and panels – otherwise they may be catching clothes.
- Check the ladder – it must be sturdy and firmly attached to the bed. It mustn’t ever be removed or detached.
- If any replacement becomes necessary, never use spare parts from beds of another manufacturer – only parts from your manufacturer can be used for repairing.
Purchase the right kind of mattress
- The label on the bunk bed carries the information about the desired thickness and size of the mattress – make sure you buy the required size.
- The mattress must be a perfect fit on all sides and not too thick (there should be at least 5 inches up to the top of the guardrail).
- What about separating the beds?
- There are bunk beds that are designed to be used separately before the children are old enough to use them stacked. The thing is to be sure to separate the beds safely.
- Make inquiries from the retailer or the manufacturer whether the beds are intended for separate use.
- If you take down the top bunk, remove guardrails – they are to keep older children from falling off the top, if the child is younger, he may get caught between the rails and the bed.
- Make sure the bunk bed stands well away from window curtains or blinds, especially if they are fitted with cords. The fabric and cords mustn’t get caught by the bed and thus create a dangerous situation for the child.
- It will not be amiss if you check for recalls and submit reports about safety issues that arose and injuries sustained during use.