If your youngest is ready to leave their toddler bed and share a bunk with their brother or sister, you’ll want to know the bed you invest in is sturdy and safe for both of them. It’s not just about choosing a solid frame though – there are some guidelines you can follow to ensure they stay safe at bedtime. Here are our top tips for keeping bunk beds safe for sleeping and relaxing.

Age matters

Guidelines recommend that the upper bunk should be reserved for children of six or over. This is because they have the coordination to climb up safely and are less likely to fall out in their sleep. If you want to be sure they can get up and down safely in the night, rig up a lamp by the ladder – but be sure to keep the cord secured to the wall to reduce the risk of accidental injury.

Sizing up

The mattresses on your bunk beds should fit snugly and, on the upper bunk, should be no more than 17cm thick. This is so that the guard rails reach at least 16cm higher than the mattress in order to prevent the child rolling out of bed.

All safe bunk beds from reputable suppliers will meet British Safety Standards: they’ll be solidly constructed with no sharp edges and the guard rails will be manufactured to ensure children can’t get stuck or slip down between the rail and the mattress.

Assembly

When it comes to assembling a flat-pack bunk bed, it’s essential that you follow the instructions to the letter. Do it step by step with another adult so you can check each other’s work and ensure nothing is missed out. Use the recommended tools and, to be extra sure, be in the room when your kids get into bed for the first time to ensure there are no instabilities.

Placement

Against a wall is the traditional place to put a bunk bed, but there are a couple of other points to consider too. Safe bunk beds will be away from windows and light fittings – this reduces the chance of accidents. Ensure any electrical cables are well away from your child’s head when they’re lying down too – preferably secured to a wall.

No climbing

It seems like an obvious rule to set, but kids like to push their luck with weary parents, and climbing around on the bunks can seem like fun. Discourage playing on the ladder or leaning out from the top bunk – and jumping from it should be strictly out of bounds.

One child above

You may also want to set a rule that only one child can be on the top bunk at a time. This is to ensure the upper weight limit isn’t exceeded, and that there are no accidental falls due to squabbles or active play.

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