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Bunk Beds Safety Tips
Are Bunk Beds Safe?
If you are trying to maximize the space in your room, consider purchasing a bunk bed to elevate your sleeping area. With a bunk bed, the bed is elevated on a platform with space left underneath for living, working, or playing. Bunk beds work on the same principle, but with another bed underneath the top bunk.
Both are popular with children and teens, who often have limited space in their rooms; however, many parents worry about their safety.
Each year, thousands of children are rushed to emergency rooms after falling from the top bunk of their bunk beds, while many more receive less serious injuries that are not seen by a medical professional.
Typically, the main reason for injury involving bunk beds is horseplay and not from improperly installed beds. Before you purchase bunk beds for your child, consider the age of the child and plan to make rules regarding the use of the bed.
Although younger children are thought to experience more injuries, most problems occur with older children who are more apt to disregard rules and exhibit unsafe or risky behavior.
For the most part, bunk beds are just as safe as conventional beds. For smaller children, consider designating the lower bunk as their bed instead of allowing them to regularly climb to the top bunk.
Also, ensure the bed is properly maintained and meets all current safety regulations and standards. Additionally, approximately eight percent of bunk bed related falls and injuries that need medical attention are related directly to the ladder.
In addition to ensuring the ladder is properly installed, instruct your child on the correct method of ascending and descending the ladder.
When you begin searching for an appropriate bunk bed for your child, choose a bed that appeals to all the safety standards. A bunk bed should have guard rails that have the right space between the rail and the mattress. This will prevent children from falling through the space and potentially injuring themselves.
If necessary, you may need to install extra boards in the space between the guard rail and the mattress. Furthermore, the guard rail needs to extend the right distance above the mattress so that your child will be unable to roll off the top bunk.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the bunk bed you purchase has guard rails on both sides. Even though one side of the bed will be placed next to a wall, a guard rail is essential due to a child potentially falling next to the wall and becoming trapped between the wall and the bed frame.
Also, you should ensure that the mattress purchased to fit the bunk bed properly fits the frame. Many parents choose to use a preexisting mattress used on a child-sized bed that is smaller than a traditional twin bed frame. Children can potentially fall between the mattress and the frame in this situation, so you should ensure the mattress is of the proper size.
In addition to ensuring the mattress is of proper size, you should also check that the mattress foundation is properly suspended above the bottom bunk or the space below.
If the bed sits on a wooden platform, consider reinforcing the mattress with wooden slats or metal straps. This will prevent the top bunk from collapsing, especially if the lower occupant is kicking or pushing the above mattress.
By purchasing a quality, well constructed bunk bed that meets all safety guidelines, you can make certain that your child will be safe and free from injury from the bed.
How to Buy a Bunk Beds
Individuals of all ages choose to invest in a bunk bed for their home. This classic childhood sleeper is quickly becoming a fun, inventive way for ‘tweens, teens, college students, and young adult hipsters to maximize their space without having to roll out a sleeping bag every night. When it comes time to shop for furniture, look to stores that specialize in bunk beds.
First things first, there is a major difference between bunk beds. Bunk beds are the most common form of alternative bedding, with an upper bunk stacked above a lower bunk.
Some bunk beds stack two same-sized mattresses horizontally, while others stack a twin bed above a full size bed or even a futon that can serve as a larger sleeping or living area.
Finally, other bunk beds create a playhouse type environment, with a top bunk running horizontally overtop of a vertically running bottom bunk. Some of these alternative bunk beds include stair steps and even slides, allowing the beds perfect for younger individuals.
Bunk beds feature elevated platforms for sleeping, leaving much needed floor space below to place a desk, couch, or entertainment center to provide extra space for living. Generally associated with cramped dorm rooms, bunk beds are becoming increasingly popular with teenagers who feel cramped in smaller rooms and want to expand their livable space.
Also, young adults are also elect to choose bunk beds in first apartments or units that may have less than desirable sleeping quarters. Think of bunk beds like the new, hipper version of the classic Murphy bed.
When shopping for a bunk bed, first consider the person that will be sleeping in the bed. For children, consider safety above all other aspects of the bed. Teenagers or young adults may want to focus on the size or the style of the bed more so than safety worries.
When dealing with children, be sure that the child is ready to upgrade to a “grown up” bed before making the move. Children should be at least two years of age before they should be moved to a bunk bed. Also, ground rules should be made regarding the proper conduct involving the bunk bed, since most injuries occur due to roughhousing or horseplay.
Regardless of your age, you should ensure the bunk bed you choose has two sets of guardrails and a sturdy ladder that can support your weight. The guard rails are critical, even though your bed may reside next to a wall.
More so with children, but occasionally with teens or adults, bunk beds without a guardrail next to the wall can cause the sleeper to slip between the bed and the wall during their sleep. Also, a guardrail on the other side of the bed is critical, since anyone can fall out of a bed while asleep.
For children, the guard rail should be no more than three and a half inches above the mattress. If the guard rail is too far away from the mattress, the occupant can slip between the mattress and the rail, resulting in a fall. Also, the guard rail should run the appropriate distance above the mattress to prevent the occupant from rolling over the top of the rail.
Keep in mind there are a variety of bunk beds on the market. Younger kids may enjoy the activity themed bunk beds, while teens may desire a bed that incorporates a loft instead of a bottom bunk.
Also, the size of the room is directly associated with the size of the bunk bed. Although having a double or queen size bed may be luxurious in comparison to a tiny twin, carefully think of the available space before choosing.
Wood vs Metal Bunk Beds
If you are in the market for bunk beds, a major choice is wood versus metal. Depending on the overall look and size you desire, you will want to choose a differently constructed bed. Although both materials are both sturdy and safe, many individuals choose either metal or wood when searching for the optimum bed to fit the room.
Most older bunk beds are made of wood and are generally easier to make safety modifications and enhancements. Also, the price of wooden bunk beds may be more economical, especially if you are shopping at second hand stores or using a bed previously used by a friend or family member.
Furthermore, wooden bunk beds can be easily repaired, painted, stripped, or stained to create a completely different look for differing tastes.
Metal bunk beds are usually made of tubular metal and are thought to be a classic kid’s type of bedding. How many times have you seen a red or white metal bunk bed in a child’s bedroom? Metal bunk beds made in recent years are built to the set safety requirements, but if any safety requirements are not up to par, emendations are much more difficult to make.
When looking at bunk beds, the newer, stylish beds are made of metal. Additionally, metal bunk beds take up less space so that tight spaces will not be further infringed by bulky metal creations.
Also, metal beds allow a greater amount of decoration than wooden beds, so these are quite popular with the feminine crowd. Additionally, a change in style requires nothing more than a can of spray paint in the new and improved color.
Wooden bunk beds are most associated with college dormitories, where bunk beds built of raw two by fours are king. These beds can be found around every corner of campus come move-in day, so keep your pennies for things like books and purchase a used bunk bed.
You may even gain a couple of new phone numbers since most college co-eds use their bunk beds as a huge message pad. The plus side of a wooden loft bed is that you will save a great deal of money on paper!
Whatever type of bunk bed you choose to purchase, ensure the bed is safe. It does not matter if you are two, twelve, or twenty, safety is still important when entrusting your bodily safety while you sleep.
A teenager can roll out of bed just as easily as a toddler, so be sure all beds have the proper guard rails and safety precautions. Generally, the choice between wood and metal bunk beds is completely personal and depends on the space and the style.
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