I have to be honest. I purchased my two boys a bunk bed set about 5 months ago. My eldest is 4 years old, turning 5 this October, and sleeps in the top bunk. My youngest is 3 1/2 and sleeps on the lower, twin size bed. We always have to place large stuffed animals along the edge of the bottom bunk as my youngest is a sleep roller! But he has yet to totally fall out. He has been found in the ‘prayer’ position once or twice, half off the bed, knees on the floor and torso and head resting nicely on the bed. Too cute!
We purchased a bunk bed as we live in a two bedroom house at the moment and they share a room. We set ground rules prior to the purchase and we reviewed the rules once we received and assembled the bed. No jumping or bouncing on either bed (especially the top bunk); no hanging from the top bunk; no hanging any toys, ropes, whips, etc from the top bunk; only one person going up/down the ladder at a time; use only the ladder to get up/down from the top bunk; no jumping from the top bunk or the ladder; am I forgetting any?? I will say, I did research the bed we purchased for several weeks. I wanted to make sure that it was very stable. I was happy with our final purcahse.
I did want to share this article with you. It was included in the Safe Kids Digest late May. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to follow the suggested rule of waiting until your child is 6-years old to purchase them a bunk bed. However, I believe that my husband and I communicate very well with our boys and they understand the possible dangers this product can encompass. Let me know what you think!
My Lil’ Monkeys, LLC
Don’t Roll Without One!
Bunk Beds, TVs Causing Injuries to Children (The Globe and Mail, Canada)
May 25 / André Picard
Almost half of all pediatric injuries are ‘product-related,’ meaning they involve common household items
More than 18,000 children a year are treated in emergency rooms for injuries caused by the use and misuse of common household items like bunk beds, televisions, fridge magnets and backyard swings, according to a new report.
“There are certain stories that I’ve heard 100 times,” said Angelo Mikrogianakis, an ER doctor at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
“Kids aren’t playing with dad’s chainsaw. What’s bringing them to hospital – often with serious injuries – is regular daily activities involving things we take for granted like furniture and TVs,” he said.
Dr. Mikrogianakis, himself the father of three young children, said he is in no way suggesting that children should not be doing “fun stuff like jumping on the bed,” only that parents should be aware of the risks and try to minimize them.
The new report, from Safe Kids Canada, notes that almost half of all pediatric injuries are “product-related,” meaning they involve common household items. The risks, and the injuries, are clearly delineated by age group:
Age 0 to 4 years is the time in which falls from furniture pose the most common danger. Toddlers and young children like to get up on tables, chairs, sofas and beds. Bunk beds are one of the most common causes of injury in young children, and it is recommended that children not be on the top bunk before age 6.
Age 5 to 9 is the developmental period when children like to climb and they will sometimes climb on dressers, wall units, book cases and water coolers, all of which can topple. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in children being injured by toppling big-screen TVs. Televisions should always be on low, sturdy furniture and bookcases secured to the wall.
Age 10 to 14, when children are more independent and mobile, sees them injured principally on backyard play equipment like swings and slides. It is recommended that such play structures be surrounded by soft surfaces such as sand or wood chips to cushion falls.
“Children are a lot more vulnerable than most parents think,” said Pamela Fuselli, executive director of Safe Kids Canada. “There are a lot of hidden dangers in and around the home.”
Ms. Fuselli said the injury-prevention group is not suggesting that children live in a protective cocoon, but rather that parents should try to look at the home through a child’s eyes and take simple precautions to eliminate temptations that could lead to injuries.
“We’re not suggesting that children are never going to have bumps and bruises – of course they are. What we’re talking about is preventing deaths and serious injuries that land children in emergency rooms,” she said.
Ms. Fuselli said many parents wrongly assume that household products are all regulated and inherently safe.
Noreen Popelas describes herself as the “kind of mom who was very safety-conscious – I even had the Kiddie Proofers come in and do an assessment of my home.”
But in December, 2007, she turned her back for a moment and her then five-year-old daughter Maia climbed up onto a chair to grab something from the mantelpiece that had caught her eye.
The little girl tumbled and landed on the glass window of the gas fireplace, suffering second-degree burns on her hands.
Like many parents whose children are injured in the home, Ms. Popelas was racked by guilt over the incident. “Things like fireplaces become part of the scenery. You don’t see the risks that are right in front of your nose,” she said.
Ms. Popelas is now actively lobbying to have the standards for fireplace glass changed so that, like kitchen stoves, there is no risk of a child being burned. She is also urging parents to reassess the risks around their home routinely as their children grow.
“I don’t pretend to be the poster mom for safety, but we can at least try to reduce the risks for our kids.”
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