Bunk beds and loft beds maximize space in our bedrooms or apartments and can create a fun, casual environment. However, because of their elevated design, bunk and loft beds come with a certain element of risk. Many bunk and loft beds come complete with safety features to reduce this risk, but awareness and adherence to safety guidelines are essential to minimizing injuries.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list. This is a list of things to consider while shopping for a bunk bed. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission website for an in-depth look at bunk bed safety concerns.
Bunk Bed Safety Tips
- Look for a dealer that sells a quality product and stands behind it.
- Follow instructions carefully when assembling a new bunk bed.
- Follow all guidelines for guardrail height and spacing between frame and rails.
- Always use guard rails on both sides.
- Allow only children six years or older to sleep on upper bunks.
- Make sure the ladder is amply wide and permanently attached to the frame.
- Use only properly-sized, manufacturer-recommended mattresses.
- Make sure there are no openings wide enough for a child's head or torso to pass through.
- Prohibit more than one person on the upper bunk.
- Prohibit horseplay on or under the beds.
- Discuss safety concerns and the proper usage of bunk beds with your children.
A new mandatory standard for bunk beds is expected to improve safety for the hundreds of thousands of children who use them. Since mid-2000, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires all bunk beds sold in the United States to comply with the following standards:
- Every bunk bed must have an affixed label that states the bed's manufacturer, model, and mattress size information.
- Every bunk bed must have a warning label that advises against placing children under six years of age in the upper bunk.
- If the bunk bed is taller than 30 inches, it must have a continuous guardrail on the wall side of bed.
- Openings on the upper and the lower bunks must be small enough that a child's head, torso, or limb cannot pass through them.
Use with Caution
Thanks to heightened awareness and federal regulations, bunk beds are getting safer every year. But higher standards and safer designs are no substitute for educating and supervising your children.