Falls & Tip-Overs

Bunk beds: Knowing Their Risks

Nervous about getting bunk beds for your kids? Anything that gets a child that excited has to be dangerous, right? Well, read below. There is no denying the risk, but a few simple steps can go a long way to calming your fears, and keeping your child safer.

STEPS TO SAFETY

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  • PREVENTING BUNK BED INJURIES

    • Children younger than 6 years old should not sleep or play on the top bunk. Half of all bunk bed-related injuries occur to children younger than 6 because they don’t have the coordination to climb safely, or to keep from falling out. 
    • Make sure that ladders are attached securely to the bed–and that your child is comfortable going up and down. Place a nightlight close to the bed, so that s/he is able to find the way in the dark. 
    •  To avoid falls and weakening of the beds, do not allow your children to jump or roughhouse on either bunk. 
    • Tidy up! Make sure the floor around the bed doesn’t have any toys or other things that could further injure your child in case s/he does stumble or fall.
  • PICKING THE RIGHT BED

    • Make sure that your bunk bed meets the current safety standards. Only use a bed that has a label listing the manufacturer, model and mattress size information, so you can check for recalls here.
    • When buying a bunk bed, it is best to select one without decorative posts at the ends of the bed (finials) since clothing and toys can get caught on or wrap around them, and become choking or strangulation hazards. For more information on these types of risks, go here.
  • SETTING-UP SAFELY

    • Place the bunk beds away from ceiling fans, light fixtures and windows. 
    • Double-check that there are no cracks or loose parts in both the beds and ladders, once you have everything assembled. 
    • Make sure there are guardrails on both sides of the top bunk. 
      • Any openings in the guardrails should not be more than 3 ½ inches. 
      • The rails should extend at least 5 inches above the top of the mattress, to help prevent falls.

Did You Know?


An average of 36,000 bunk bed-related injuries are treated in ERs every year. That’s nearly 100 children per day.

- Nationwide Children’s Hospital



Thank you


Content developed in association with:

Nationwide Childrens Hospital Safe Kids Worldwide

For more information, go to Our Role.