Bunk beds are great for small bedrooms and siblings sharing a room but can be a safety concern when younger children are in the house. We have pulled together some safety information for using bunk beds and a few ideas to keep younger children off the top bunk.
When can my child start sleeping in a bunk bed
In Australia it is not recommended that children under nine years old sleep on the top bunk, as young children can easily fall and trap their small heads and limbs in the guard rails, causing serious and even fatal injuries. (productsafety.gov.au) See the Product Safety website for more information on injuries and deaths from bunk beds.
Bunk bed safety
The following safety information is from productsafety.gov.au. Information correct at time of publication, please refer to the source website for up to date and more detailed information.
7 Easy steps for bunk bed safety
- Only children over nine years of age should use bunk beds.
- Consider using single beds as a safer alternative to bunk beds.
- Don’t allow children to play on bunk beds.
- Allow at least 2 m of clearance between ceiling fans and bunk beds.
- Ensure the ladder is firmly fixed to the bunk bed.
- Ensure there are no gaps of between 95 mm and 230 mm that could trap your child’s head.
- On the top bunk, make sure that the top of the guardrail is at least 160 mm above the top of the mattress to prevent children rolling out.
Keeping younger children off the top bunk
The most important safety concern is keeping toddlers and small children off the top bunk. 40% of injuries on top bunks happen to under 3 year olds. If you are unable to move the ladder away from the bed when not in use, here are some ideas I found searching around Google. I have not tested, nor do I endorse any of these products - these are simply to start your own research.
Toddlelock is a barrier for ladders on bunk-beds, backyard play systems , and above ground pools. Ladders are like magnets to toddlers who love to climb.
Bunk Barrier Bunk Bed Ladder Cover is a convenient and easy way to deter small children from climbing the ladder to their older sibling's top bunk bed. It is 36 inches in length and adjusts using elastic and two zipper closures allowing it to fit either wood or metal frame bed ladders.