Is there an age restriction for children using the top bunk of bunk beds?
RoSPA recommends that no child under the age of six sleeps in the top bunk, and the harmonised European standard for bunk beds requires the manufacturer’s instructions provided with new bunk beds to containing the following phrase:
“Be aware of the danger of young children (under six) falling from the upper bunk”
In one study on accidents involving bunk beds, the age group found to be most at risk was that between two and six years which represented 57 per cent of the accidents studied. 40 per cent resulted from “children playing”. However, entrapment leading to strangulation has also been recognised as a particular hazard and is dealt with under its own Regulations, stating:
“A bunk bed shall be so constructed as to prevent any reasonable possibility of any part of the body of a child under six years of age becoming wedged or trapped in any part of the bed’s structure which is at or above the height of any part of the bed’s sleeping surface (including the under-surface) so as to give to any risk of death or serious personal injury, including...any risk of strangulation, suffocation or injury to the neck or spinal column.”
Gaps must lie between prescribed limits. These have been incorporated into the standard, which is recommended as setting a minimum level of safe performance.
Date Updated/Created: 10/09/2010
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