Keeping our kids safe is an ongoing job of learning about safety hazards, including everything from risks at summer camp to getting kids to and from prom safely. Bunk bed safety is one risk we don’t often think about.
There are about 36,000 injuries due to bunk bed accidents every year. More than 50% of those who suffer injuries are children under age five.
The key to keeping your child safe in sleep is to consider the various design options, including integrated stairs and handrails rather than ladders. To learn about some bunk bed recalls, and things to look for when shopping for bunk beds, check out our bunk bed safety guide below.
Bunk Bed Injury Facts
The majority of accidents in bunk beds happen when the child falls while sleeping or playing on the bed. The injuries the child suffers are usually worse than falls from standard beds.
Common injuries from bunk bed accidents are bruises, bumps, and broken bones. The parts of the body most often suffering injury are the neck and head.
Young adults between 18-21 years olds incur twice as many injuries as other teens. This is because bunk beds are often found in college dorms and the military.
Injuries in all age groups may be due to improper use. Manufacturing defects may also be the reason a child suffers injury. If your child has injuries that occur during bed bunk use, contact a personal injury lawyer to learn if you have any legal recourse.
Angled Ladders Cause Strangulation
On December 22, 2021, Longwood Forest issued a recall on their Angel Line bunk beds with angled ladders. This recall is due to a 2-year old dying after slipping on the bunk ladder.
The child slipped between the ladder and the upper bunk. The child’s death is the result of becoming entrapped, causing strangulation.
The problem is a metal hook that fastens the ladder to the top bunk. The ladder can detach from the bed and move away from the frame if the ladder is lifted. This results in a gap between the bed frame and ladder step that is more than 3-1/2”.
The gap creates a risk of entrapment and strangulation. There are around 39,900 units from three different models under this recall:
- Fremont twin over twin bunk bed—model 71210-21, 71210-49, 71210-67
- Creston twin over twin bunk bed—model 71230-21, 71230-49, 71230-75
- Brandon twin over twin full bunk bed—model 71420-21, 21420-75
You will find the model number of your bed on a label on either the footboard or headboard of the upper bunk. The beds were sold between March 2016 through June 2021 online at wayfair.com, walmart.com, ojcommerce.com, and amazon.com.
For your child’s safety, immediately stop using the bed and block your child’s access. You can contact Angel Line for a free repair kit to reinforce the bed ladder.
To receive your recall kit call 844-542-0694 toll-free Monday-Friday between 8 am to 4 pm pacific time. You may also go online to https://www.angeline.com/bunkbedrecall and click on “product recall” at the bottom of the page for information on recall #22-036.
Welds Come Apart Causing Upper Bunk Collapses
Following 13 reports of their bunk bed welds coming apart, including a report of three multiple welds simultaneously falling, Zinus issued a recall of about 26,000 metal bunk beds on November 12, 2020.
Three of the fall reports resulted in the person on the upper bump suffering bumps and bruises following their fall to the floor. A falling bunk could possibly cause injuries to both the child on the upper bunk and the child on the lower bunk.
There are three beds in this recall:
- OPLBB model—black twin over twin with bedposts that have a square cross-section
- RPBB model—blue twin over twin bed with bedposts that have a circular cross-section
- NTBB model—gray twin over full bed with bedposts that have a circular cross-section
All are metal bunk bed sets with ladders built into both the foot and head of the bed. You will find the model number on a label on the horizontal bar of the upper bunk guard rail.
The beds were sold between December 2016 through January 2020 online at www.zinus.com, www.homedepot.com, www.overstock.com, www.walmart.com, www.wayfair.com, and www.amazon.com.
You should immediately cease use of the upper bunk and obtain a free repair kit that has reinforcement brackets. To obtain your repair kit contact Zinus at 800-613-1225 between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm pacific time Monday-Friday. You may also go online to www.zinus.com and click on “bed bunk recall” under the support tab for information on recall #21-707.
Bunk Bed Safety Tips
When it comes to bunk bed use, following these tips can help keep your children safe:
- Use a bunk bed safety rail on both sides of the top bunk
- Gaps in guardrails need to be 3.5” or smaller to prevent strangulation
- To prevent kids from rolling off the bed, guardrails need to extend a minimum of 5” above the mattress top
- Use the proper size mattress and make sure the mattress foundation is strong
- Do not allow children under six years of age to sleep on the top bunk
- Do not allow children to play on the ladder or bunk
- No more than one child on the upper bunk at a time
- Remove any dangerous objects from around the bed
- Keep the top bed away from ceiling fans
- Install a night light to illuminate the ladder
- Do not use the ladder or bunk bed if any parts are broken or damaged
- Teach kids how to properly use the ladder
- Do not allow kids to attach ropes, scarves, or belts to the ladder as this may result in strangulation
- Be aware that do-it-yourself bunk bed kits may not comply with current safety guidelines
If you are sending your child to a summer camp or school that uses bunk beds, be aware that they are not required to use bunk beds that meet federal safety standards. This means there may not be guardrails on upper bunks, or the rail may not extend the recommended 5” above the mattress top. You may be able to request a guardrail that meets standards from the camp or school you are using.
Prior to purchasing a bunk bed, you may want to check www.recalls.gov to see if the bed, or any other product you are purchasing for your child, is on the recall list.
If Purchasing A Used Bunk Bed
If you are purchasing a used bunk bed take measurements to make sure they are compliant with current safety standards. Information can be found on the Consumer Protection Safety Commission website.
This includes guardrails on the top bunk having no more than a 15” opening for entering and exiting the bunk. For safety, any bunk bed manufactured after March 2008 may not have any type of finials on the corner posts of the footboard or headboard. This is to prevent the child’s clothing from catching on the finial, possibly causing a fall or strangulation.
If Your Child Suffers A Bunk Bed Injury
No matter how careful we are about bunk bed safety, there is always the possibility of a child suffering injuries. If your child suffers a serious injury when using a bunk bed, contact Scherline Injury Law.
We specialize in personal injury cases and will be happy to meet with you to discuss your case. Call our office at (610) 437-1100 or use our online form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.