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Hazards: Bunk Beds Are Often Bump Beds
Each year, thousands of children who are tucked into their bunk beds for a good night's sleep end up with a bump on the head or worse, a new study finds.
After studying emergency admissions over a six-year period, the researchers reported that on average, more than 35,000 children and young adults a year were hurt on bunk beds. The study appears in the current Pediatrics. The lead author is Anjali L. D'Souza.
Most injuries involved falls and occurred to children under age 6. But from ages 18 to 21, the researchers found, when many bunk bed users are living at schools, the injury rates were also high. Alcohol often seemed to play a role, the researchers said.
Many accidents involved using the ladder. And the study confirmed something parents already know: jumping off the bunk bed is a bad idea.
The most common injuries were cuts, followed by scrapes and bruises. But fractures occurred about a fifth of the time, said the researchers, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and Ohio State University.
Among the ways to reduce the risk, the researchers said, are making sure that guardrails are set up properly and discouraging children from playing on the bed.
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