Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Dangers of Bunk Beds

Bunk beds?When raising a large family, bunk beds are a great piece of furniture, especially when you have children sharing a room. Bunk beds allow you to make the most of your limited space, allowing your children to have more room to play. 

My older boys have a bunk bed that I love, but when we first got the bunk bed, I wasn't too sure about it. I was very uneasy about the height of the bed and was worried one would fall off. But as the year wore on, no injuries occurred.

That was until the boys became more comfortable with the bunk bed and began horsing around.

I was putting my oldest son's laundry away when from the corner of my eye, I saw him fall from the top bunk as he tried to make his bed. My heart stopped as I helplessly watched him fall.

As I ran to him a flood of thoughts filled my head, what if he broke his arm? What if he hit his head? But, luckily, he was fine other than a little shaken.

The other day my youngest started screaming, so I ran back to see what was wrong. Apparently, he was "exercising" and fell off the bunk bed and sprained his ankle. Luckily, that was all that happened.

After the second episode, I realized that although bunk beds are very convenient, they are also dangers of bunk beds.

In fact, it is estimated there are around 36,000 bunk bed related injuries seen in American emergency rooms each and every year. Of these injures, almost half of the injuries occurred to children under 6 years of age.

Even 18-21 year olds have a high number of bunk bed related injuries. This is believed to be due to the fact that alcohol, combined with the bunk beds used in dorms, do not mesh well.

Due to the dangers of bunk beds and the large amount of injuries reported every year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission instilled a new list of requirements for bunk beds in 2000.

These new requirements included a guard rail around the entire perimeter of the top bunk and ensuring mattresses fitted the beds properly. Even with these requirements in place, injuries still occur.

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