Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bunk Bed Injuries

My four-year-old keeps asking for bunk beds, but I keep refusing because I am worried he'll get hurt. He already broke his collar bone when he jumped out of his crib as a toddler! It was so scary! I took him to the ER and he got an X-ray and it was so sad. I felt like a horrible parent. At this point, I don't want to do anything that I know could lead to another Emergency Room visit. However, I do love the idea of bunk beds. We'll see!

Here's a new study on bunk bed injuries.

Investigators at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio found although three-quarters of the children who sustain bunk bed-related injuries are younger than 10 years of age, there is a surprising spike in injuries among individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 years. (I guess I can never buy bunk beds then!)

There are around 36-thousand cases of bunk bed injuries each year. Bunk bed-related injuries occur most frequently among boys, and half of the cases analyzed involved children younger than 6 years of age. Children less than 3 years of age were 40 percent more likely to sustain head injuries than older children.

Here are tips to avoid injuries:
  • Make sure guardrails are used on both sides of the upper bunk
  • Guardrail gaps being 3.5 inches or less to prevent entrapment and strangulation
  • Ensure the mattress foundation is secure and the proper size mattress is used
  • Don't permit children younger than 6 years of age to sleep in the upper bunk
  • Discourage children from playing on bunk beds
  • Use night lights to help children see the ladder at night
  • Removing hazardous objects from around the bed
  • Don't place the bunk bed too close to ceiling fans or other ceiling fixtures.
The study is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen


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