Bunk beds have the best of both worlds: its fun for the kids, while you save a ton of space in the room. The layout of the bed makes it easy for two kids to sleep without robbing too much space from the room. As such, it is the perfect solution for tight spaces and apartments, where, if you have two kids, having ample space for both of them can be a little bit difficult. Bunk beds, for that reason alone, are nothing short of a blessing. Add in the fun factor for the kids, and there is simply no beating a bunk bed.
However, there are a few drawbacks when it comes to bunk beds; first and foremost are the safety issues, or rather potential safety issues, which are limited to the top bunk. You see, the top bunk, without adequate fall protection, can be a concern, especially for kids who tend to move around while sleeping. This can be extremely dangerous; however, with the right restraints and measures in place, a bunk bed can be as safe as a regular bed.
Let’s look at the safety of bunk beds and the measures you can take to ensure that the top bunk is both sturdy enough and enclosed enough to prevent a nasty fall and a nasty injury for your kid.
The safety of bunk beds
Oftentimes, an otherwise brilliant product can be bought down by its many different aspects, and bunk beds have that same fallacy. The top bunk is at a considerable height, and a fall from such a height can have disastrous consequences, considering the affectee is a child. As such, considerable safety measures need to be in place, which will make a bunk bed a safe option and a place where a lot of fun memories can be made.
Let’s look at some bunk bed safety tips to keep in mind when you are in the market for a new bunk bed for your children.
Guardrails are absolutely crucial for bunk beds, especially for children under 10. They are installed for the sole purpose of providing a barricade for occupants, especially for kids, who tend to move a lot while sleeping and are seriously at risk of falling while asleep. As such, guardrails are included and installed in nearly all bunk beds sold nowadays, but in the event that your bunk bed does not have guardrails, there are plenty of options available that are universal and can fit the top bunk of any size. One word of caution with guardrails for bunk beds: for especially active kids who thrash about while sleeping, ensure that the rails are narrow, since there is a strangulation risk with the bars of the rail.
Ensure foundation is robust
The existence of the top bunk may also put the bottom bunk at risk, and there have been instances where the top bunk has either caved in or altogether fallen down on the occupant on the bunk below. Two things to keep in mind here: first, never settle on low-quality wooden beds for your kids, since this puts them at grave risk of extensive injury. Second, you need to ensure that the top bunk foundation is strong enough to support more than what your kid weighs; this ensures optimal strength for the top bunk.
Never let your kids play on the top bunk
Kids love to play on the top bunk or pretend like they are on the top deck of the Millennium Falcon and just wreak havoc on the bunk bed. While nobody wants to spoil the fun for kids, you need to understand that a bed’s structural integrity and strength can be compromised by excessive force being applied on the extremities. And the fact that around 40 percent of all accidents on a bunk bed happen while kids are messing around the bed. This means the top bunk, where the planks are a little flexible. So, in order to get the most out of your bunk bed and to ensure that it stays safe for your kids, do not allow your children to play on the bunk bed, especially the top bunk, since excessive force could compromise the bed’s strength and could potentially, contribute to an accident later on.
Plug in/ block any openings on the top bunk
There are many design elements/ styles that might leave large openings or gaping holes on the headboard of the bunk bed, especially the top bunk. Now, this might become a great problem, especially considering that kids like to check out any spaces that might pique their interest, and a fancy opening on the headboard is a prime space for that. This is extremely dangerous; kids can potentially strangulate themselves if they get stuck in any such opening. Therefore, it is important that any such opening be plugged or blocked from the kids’ access to ensure their safety during naptime.
Kids under six: no top bunk!
If you have younger kids, despite their enthusiasm for sleeping ‘in the air’, they’re better off sleeping in the lower bunk. That is because, according to research, children under six do move around a lot while sleeping, and a fall from a height (that is typical of the top bunk) can injure them seriously. Which is why, you as the parent need to be absolutely vocal about it: no kids under six on the top bunk! Even with a guardrail in place, you should never let children in this age group sleep on the top bunk of the bunk bed. It’s far too dangerous.
Keep an eye out for low-hanging fans, etc
If you have a bunk bed for the explicit purpose of saving space, there is a good chance the ceilings of the location are also low. Which means low-hanging fans, chandeliers, or any other fitment. This can be potentially dangerous, since low-hanging fans mean that the kid on the top bunk has access to the moving part of it, and you can bet they will try it one day. So, placement of the bed in this case needs to be very far away from the location of the fan, preferably in a corner so big, wide-open spaces aren’t the problem. Keep the hanging fixtures as far away as possible from the top bunk.
In a nutshell,
Properly securing and child-proofing the bunk beds will ensure that you get the most use out of it. With a bunk bed, you save a lot of space, but it does come at the cost of safety. By following the aforementioned tips, you can ensure that the bunk bed is a safe haven for your kids, and not only do you get a lot of free space, but they get good memories from the experience of sleeping on the bunk bed.
Unparalleled safety with unbeatable designs: North End Furniture
North End Furniture has the best selection of some of the most incredibly well-designed bunk beds for sale. We understand furniture like nobody else: we understand the purpose of the bunk bed, which is why, our designs fit in modern, aesthetic lines with bold colours in a package that maximizes the space usage of the room without the package itself taking a lot of space. And since we understand what you as a parent, need out of the bunk bed, North End bunk beds come standard with a host of safety features and attachments that make the treacherous top bunk feel like the safest place. With robust build and quality materials, the top bunk is strong as ever, ensuring all-round security for the kids. So, for unparalleled safety that does not compromise on design and beauty, check out North End Furniture for a great selection of bunk beds.