Bunk beds are a common feature of many children’s rooms, especially in homes where floor space carries a premium. Each year, however, thousands of children sustain injuries related to bunk beds — and not always predictable injuries.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) offers the following facts and tips related to selecting, using and maintaining bunk beds in your home:
Choose bunk beds that have:
a. Guardrails on all sides which are screwed, bolted or otherwise firmly attached to the bed structure.
b. Spacing between bed frame and bottom of guard rails that is no greater than 3-1/2 inches (89 mm).
c. Guardrails that extend at least 5 inches (127 mm) above the mattress surface to prevent a child from rolling off.
d. Cross ties under the mattress foundation which can be securely attached.
e. A ladder that is secured to the bed frame and will not slip when a child climbs on it.
f. A feature which permits the beds to be separated to form two single beds if you have children too young to sleep safety on the upper bunk.
And finally, choose a mattress that correctly fits your bed, whether regular or extra long.
a. Always use two side guardrails on the upper bunk. Keep guardrails securely in place at all times no matter what the age of the child. Children move about during sleep and may roll out of bed.
b. Do not permit children under 6 years of age to sleep in the upper bunk.
c. Be sure crossties are under the mattress foundation of each bed and that they are secured in place even if bunks are used as twin beds.
d. Emphasize to children to use the ladder and not chairs or other pieces of furniture to climb into orout of the top bunk.
e. Teach children that rough play is unsafe around and on beds and other furniture.
f. Consider using a night light so that children will be able to see the ladder if they get up during the night.
3. Maintenance or Safety Repair
a. If spacing between guard rails and bed frames is more than 3 1/2 inches (89 mm), nail or screw another rail to close the space to prevent head entrapment.
b. Keep guardrails in good repair and securely in place.
c. Replace loose or missing ladder rungs immediately.
d. Repair or replace loose or missing hardware, including cross ties immediately.”
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Inury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
- A Simplicity crib recall
- Tips for tenants: Residential safety in the DC metro area
- CPSC’s “Top 5” hidden home hazards
For information about your legal rights, please click here or call the law firm of Regan Zambri & Long, PLLC at 202-463-3030.