Bunk beds are a great solution for both adults and children in a variety of spaces. They are space efficient, functional, and comfortable. Unfortunately, some home and business owners think that bunk beds are unsafe.
Bunk beds are perfectly safe when people follow proper bunk bed safety practices. If you are considering installing bunk beds in your space, understanding the facts about bunk bed injuries as well as bunk bed safety tips is essential.
Bunk Bed Accidents Statistics
Bunk bed injuries are relatively rare. When it comes to bunk bed accidents statistics, it is helpful to note that:
- Most injuries occur to children under six years old
- Boys suffer injuries more often than girls
- Cuts are the most common injury
- Falls are the number one cause of injury
While we do know some information about bunk bed injuries and safety, bunk bed safety is a surprisingly under-researched area. Prior to 2008, there was really no significant research on bed bunk safety.
The Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital published a major bunk bed safety study that year. The study found that there were about 572,000 bunk bed-related injuries between 1990 to 2005. The study was limited to people aged 0 to 21.
There hasn’t been any meaningful safety research since this study, but it is still widely cited by industry experts. One of the most common numbers cited from that study is the average of 36,000 injury cases annually.
This number was not specifically published in the study; instead, that statistic comes from dividing the total number of injuries by the years included in the study. The problem with this statistic is it fails to account for the new safety features that have been introduced in recent years.
In addition, awareness about bunk bed safety practices is improving. While we don’t have the updated official study information, it is reasonable to assume that bunk bed injuries are less common today than they were in the 90s and early 2000s.
Are Bunk Beds Safe?
While bunk bed injuries do happen, the good news is most of them are completely preventable. Most injuries are attributed to how people, especially children, are using the bed, rather than an inherent safety risk or defect.
Many families and businesses use bunk beds for years and even decades without incident. If you follow the proper safety precautions, there is no need to worry about injury while using the bed.
Bunk Bed Safety Tips
Most bunk bed injuries can be avoided with correct use. Bunk bed accidents statistics can greatly improve if all users employ these simple safety tips:
Limit Top Bunks to Older Kids
We know that most injuries from bunk beds occur in children under six. One possible explanation for this is that kids under six haven’t yet developed the coordination skills to keep themselves from falling or to climb to the top bunk safely. Children under six may also have more erratic sleep behavior, which can cause falls while asleep.
Guardrails should always be installed on the top bunk. They can make a significant difference in preventing falls while sleeping and other accidents, particularly among kids. Guardrails should not be more than three and a half inches away from the side of the bunk. Even a few inches is enough room for small children to roll into.
Arrange the Bunks in a Corner
Placing bunk beds in a corner can be a space saver and also create a safer environment. Having walls on two sides of the bunk beds removes two sides where a person can fall.
Use a Secure Ladder
Flimsy ladders are a significant risk for bunk bed injuries. Ladders should be secure and allow adults and children to climb to the top bunk safely. Some ladders may need extra reinforcement beyond what the manufacturer has provided.
In addition, ladders should be periodically inspected to ensure the rungs are still intact and that the ladder is not at risk of falling.
Remove Dangerous Objects
Another contributing factor to bunk bed accidents statistics is items around the bunk bed that contributed to the injury. For example, kids and people who fall out of a bunk bed may experience a serious injury as a result of falling onto a dangerous object.
Ensure that the area around the bunk bed is clear of potential hazards, such as other furniture, toys, and sharp objects.
Be Smart and Stay Safe with Bunk Beds
Bunk bed accidents statistics can be scary to some home and business owners, particularly parents. However, when bunk beds are used properly, the risk of injury is incredibly low. If you implement best practices, you can have total peace of mind that your bunk beds are safe and secure for all who use them.
ESS Universal manufactures and supplies high-quality, cost-effective commercial grade beds, mattresses, and furniture to camps, hostels, shelters, dorms and more. View our entire line of furniture products including our popular waterproof foam mattress for institutional use, single metal bed frames, single over single bunk beds, single over double bunk beds, and triple bunk beds. Download our catalog for detailed information on our complete product line.