Are Bunk Beds Safe? See The Ultimate Safety Guid!
The importance of mandatory standards
The most important safety tip is to always buy a bunk bed that meets the mandatory standards. This standard covers all aspects of construction and design – with a particular focus on the size of gaps and spaces, as it is easy for little heads, arms and legs to get caught. All compliant bunk beds will display a sticker or label to show that it meets these strict standards.
When you’re at home putting the bunk bed together, make a point of reading the instruction manual before you start hammering and screwing. Poorly put together beds are very dangerous. Following the instructions step-by-step will ensure that everything is fixed, glued and nailed into the right place.
The importance of guard rails and ladders
Never underestimate the importance of guard rails, which should be fixed to all four sides of the upper bunk. And don’t be fooled into thinking that a wall can act as a guard rail – it can’t! Children can become trapped between the wall and the bed, and this is never a good thing!
Bunk bed ladders need to be kid-friendly so that they can climb up and down without needing adult assistance. This is particularly important at night, when your child may need to get up to use the toilet. Equally as important is the need to be able to fold the ladder away or remove it, if small children are around. Allowing a small child to climb the ladder, under any circumstances, is a recipe for disaster.
The importance of bed position
There are a whole host of things you need to take into consideration when choosing a bunk bed over two single beds. Carefully look around the bedroom and make a mental note of anything that could potentially put your child in danger. Bunk beds need to be positioned well clear of ceiling fans, windows and blinds (especially blind cords which pose a strangulation risk,) lights, heaters or any other electrical device. You can never be too careful, so if in doubt, find another position for the bunks.
The importance of age
Although it might be fun for very young children to sleep in a bunk bed, the reality is that it can do more harm than good. Sleeping in the upper bunk is not recommended for children under the age of nine years old. It can be tempting to give in to the pleas of a four or five year old child, but you will not forgive yourself if they injure themselves. Patience is a hard lesson to learn for any adventure-seeking tot.
The importance of rules
No parent wants to spoil their child’s fun, but it’s always a good idea to set up very clear boundaries around what they can and can’t do on the bunk bed. For a start, there should never be any ‘playing’ on the top bunk, no jumping, and never more than one child up there at the same time. It is advisable to reinforce that the bunk bed is just that – a place for sleeping and not for playing. It may sound harsh, but when it comes to bunk beds, safety is the number one objective!