Choosing the Best Bunk Bed Furniture For Your Kids: Safety First, Utility Second
Sometimes, babies happen. And when they do, it can mean you'll need to reorganize and perhaps even renovate your home! Not only do you need to get a cool kids bed or crib for the newborn, but you will have to find new space for the older kids, too.
But as many of us know, space in a home often comes at a premium. A new baby coming into the family probably means that any other children you might have may have to end up sharing a room. If this is the case, you should really consider investing in some quality kids bunk bed furniture.
The immense popularity of bunk beds, across cultures and countries, is well renowned. The popularity is in part explained by the fact that bunk beds are simply fun, but they are also very popular for their invaluable space-saving qualities. Bunk beds can be found in an astonishing array of sizes, styles, features, and accessories across a broad market.
Keep in mind, though, that there is also an astonishing array bunk beds that have "features" or characteristics which could potentially compromise the safety of your little ones.
It's pretty common knowledge that kids have a higher likelihood of hurting themselves by falling out of a bunk bed than by falling out of any other type. Sometimes, these injuries can be quite severe. The simple truth is, kids like to play, and oftentimes this results in kids bouncing around on bunk beds (which are really awesome play places for a kid). Bunk beds that are especially tall, or especially unstable, are the biggest dangers to youngsters. If you or your kids really want a bunk bed for their room, it'll be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Kids beds should be very stable, featuring the finest quality wood and metal components. As a quick experiment, it helps to perform an in-store test: place your foot against the footboard of the lower bunk, place your arms on the footboard of the top bunk, and then lean and pull back. If the bed lifts, and if the feet on the opposite side leave the ground, then the bed is not particularly stable (of course, if you're very heavy or very strong, that is a confounding variable to this experiment - really, just use your own good judgment!).
Choosing a shorter kids bunk bed is a good way to stay safe, as they have a lower center of gravity. And of course, if a child tumbles off the top bunk, a shorter bed means they have a shorter distance to fall and hurt themselves. Typical safety regulations recommend that your childrens bunk bed should be approximately 1550 mm tall from the feet to the top of the upper-level mattress. Taller than this, and the chance of bruises and sometimes broken bones increases.
Great kids bunk bed furniture should have no apparent "hanging points," or posts on the bed that can easily snag cords or children's clothing. Because as bad as it is for a child to fall from the top bunk, it is often worse if they get caught on a hanging point. The bunk bed should also do a good job of "filling the gaps" between the bed frame and the wall. Do not leave enough space between the bed and a flat surface for your child to stick his head or arms, as these commonly get stuck.
Of equal safety importance are the bed guardrails. They will prevent your child from slipping or rolling off the bed. Most guardrails are optional accessories for bunk beds, so make sure to include them in your shopping cart when you buy furniture for your kids' bedroom!
A good guard rail should feature a release mechanism that locks firmly into place and should be sufficiently strong that a kid cannot activate the release mechanism. Essentially, you should never be able to unlock the release mechanism "by accident."
Now that you've got the loft bed covered, which mattress should you invest in? Most stores, online or otherwise, will have a "mattress height indicator" (or, at least, they will tell you about their varying heights of mattresses in stock). You should refer to this metric when choosing a mattress for your kids bunk bed; mattresses that are too thick not only pose a suffocation hazard for very young children, but they may also compromise the usefulness of the guard rails.
Of course, bunk beds are not suitable for every multi-child home. In some cases, the risks are too great, or there simply isn't enough room between the floor and the ceiling. If this sounds like your situation, but you'd still like to find an economical and space-conscious solution to fit two children into a room, consider investing in a cool roll-out trundle bed. These beds feature "staggered mattresses," typically with the lower mattress sliding easily underneath the top mattress. When the lower mattress is retracted, the bed looks very much like a common storage platform bed. This way, the child sleeping on the lower bunk can pull his bed out every night before sleeping, and he can retract it again in the morning to open up more play-space. This is just one of the really great alternatives for larger families.
But if you absolutely must have kids bunk beds for your children, please do make sure that any child under the age of 9 sleeps on the bottom bunk. Children under the age of 9 typically have a much higher probability of being injured in these beds than kids over the age of 9. After age 12, bunk bed-related incidents tend to decrease dramatically.
So there you have it; you have many things you are going to have to consider when shopping for the perfect bunk bed for kids. Don't just think about aesthetics and available space in the room; you should also consider the age, height, and overall safety of each of your children. After all, nobody knows them better than you do, so I can only give you guidelines. Whether you end up with a bunk bed (like my kids), a trundle bed, a loft bed, or even a plain old kids platform bed, think of your children and get them something that they will cherish as they grow up right before your eyes!
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