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Caution When Purchasing And Using Bunk Beds

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Health Canada is advising Canadians to exercise caution when purchasing and using bunk beds. Since 1987, there have been 61 incidents that involved injuries associated with bunk beds reported to Health Canada. Twelve of these incidents were related to strangulation or suffocation by entrapment, of which eight resulted in death. The remaining injuries were related to falls.

A report from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) indicates that between 1999 and 2006, there were 2,530 bunk bed-related injuries in Canada. Over 65%, 1650 in total, were related to the top bunk.

Important Safety Tips

* Children should be taught how to use bunk beds safely. The top bunk is not safe for children under 6 years of age.

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* Allow only one person on the top bunk, and do not allow children to play on or under bunk beds unless the area under the bed is designed by the manufacturer as a play area or study centre.

* The bed should have all guard rails installed at all times, even if the bed is pushed up against a wall.

* Check regularly to make sure the bed frame is sturdy.

* Never tie ropes or cords, such as belts for bathrobes or skipping ropes, to any part of the bed. These can pose serious strangulation hazards.

* When purchasing a bunk bed, make sure it meets the latest version of the ASTM F1427 standard. The current edition is 2007. If there are no labels indicating compliance with the latest ASTM F1427 standard, ask the store before you buy, or contact the manufacturer for more information

* Check to ensure the bed comes with instructions for assembly and has a label with safety warnings. Read and follow these instructions and warnings carefully