Bunk beds must be safe

Date December 28, 2007

Some great bunk beds safety tips to keep in mind even after you purchase a set of bunk beds. This list is even more important if you've just acquired a set of used bunk beds.

by Lolita Cusic

My sisters and I had when we were growing up. They were the perfect prop for all kinds of games. We could play stage coach. We could pretend we were camping. And, the temptation to leap from the top bunk was ever present.

Now my sons share a room, and we're thinking about bunk beds. The boys can be rambunctious, so we are waiting until they are older before we make the purchase. Our 4-year-old is headed in the right direction; where he leads, his younger brother will follow.

I was curious about bunk bed safety, so I visited several Web sites: U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov), American Home Furnishings Alliance (www.ahfa.us), Sleep Products Safety Council (www.safesleep.org), American Society for Testing Materials (www.astm.org) and Keep Kids Healthy group (www.keepkidshealthy.com).

Most of the sites list mandatory . There was a revised standard regarding the redesign of corner posts to reduce strangulation risks.

Here are some safety tips:

•Choose a bed with guardrails on all sides that are screwed, bolted or securely attached.

•The space between the bed frame and bottom of the guardrails should be no greater than 31/2 inches.

•Guardrails should extend at least 5 inches above the mattress surface to prevent a child from rolling off.

•The ladder should be secured to the bed frame so it doesn't slip when a child climbs on it.

•Consider bunk beds that can be separated into twin beds if your children are too young to sleep on the top bunk (children younger than 6 should not sleep on the top bunk).

•Choose a mattress that fits your bed.

•Make sure crossties are under the mattress foundation, even if you use the beds as twin beds.

•Replace loose or missing ladder rungs immediately.

•Keep guardrails in good repair and securely in place.

Courtesy of southtownstar.com

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