Are bunk beds safe?

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The bunk bed is a great idea, mostly because it saves valuable space. But in a child's mind, it can be a castle turret, a trampoline or a launch pad, all invitations for accidents. You can't entirely stop this, but you can warn your child of the risks. Warnings have their limitations, of course, and that cautionary tale of how Uncle Edward jumped off a top bunk and spent a boring and painful week in hospital is no guarantee of safe play!

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Ensure the bunk is as safe as you can make it, conforming to the British safety standard (BS EN747). It needs:
  • Guard rails on each side at the top.
  • Rail gaps of 6-7.5cm (21?2 -3in).
  • A mattress at least 10cm (4in) below the top of the guard rail.
  • Gaps between under-mattress slats of no more than 7.5cm (3in).
  • A ladder with treads at least 3cm (12in) wide and 20cm (8in) apart.

Children under 6 should never sleep in a top bunk, but don't forget their safety considerations. The space at the bottom should allow the child underneath to sit up without bashing his head!

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