As part of National Childhood Injury Prevention week, at The Gilbert Law Group we are highlighting the dangers of bunk bed injuries and the precautions you can take to keep your children free from injury.
Each year nearly 36,000 children are treated in US emergency rooms for bunk bed related injuries. In a 15-year study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, almost 573,000 children suffered injuries significant enough to warrant an ER visit.
- 75% of the children were injured by falls from bunk beds.
- 20% suffered fractures.
- 10% suffered concussions.
Common Causes of Bunk Bed Injuries
Although falling from bunk beds causes the most injuries, children commonly sustain injury from:
- Head entrapment in the bed or ladder
- Lack of structural integrity of the bed
- Collapsing mattresses
The most frequently injured body parts are the head and neck.
Precautions and Injury Prevention Tips
As a parent, you can take steps to ensure the safety of your children. The best way to avoid the risks involved in the use of bunk beds is to refrain from installing them. When that is not a possibility, keep these tips in mind:
- Children under six should not sleep on the top bunk.
- Place bunk beds in a corner so they are supported on two sides. This also eliminates the danger of falling off two of the four sides.
- Make sure the top mattress fits snugly within the frame, and check that the mattress is supported adequately by slats or wires fastened at both ends.
- Install a guardrail on the top bunk. Do not leave more than 3 to 3 1/2 inches of space between the guardrail and the bed to avoid the danger of a child getting stuck.
- Supervise children at play. Do not allow them to jump or roughhouse on either bunk.
Mandatory Bunk Bed Requirements
In January of 2000, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission issued mandatory safety standards for all bunk beds. The standards require bunk beds to carry cautionary labeling and meet specific performance requirements. Manufacturers that do not meet these standards are subject to fines for producing dangerous products.
If your child has suffered severe injuries on a bunk bed, please call (303) 431-1111 today or contact The Gilbert Law Group® to speak with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.