Bunk beds unsafe for children: study

June 2nd, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, June 2 (IANS) They might be on every child’s wish list, but bunk beds are not quite safe - especially for kids under six, according to a new study. The study has found that accidents caused by falling off bunk beds are far too common and most children tended to fall head first because of their higher centre of gravity.

Children less than three years old were 40 percent more likely to sustain head injuries than older children.

The most common injuries included lacerations, contusions, abrasions and fractures.

Patients with fractures were almost six times more likely to require hospital admission, transfer to another hospital, or to be held for observation.

Bunk bed-related injuries occur most frequently among males, and half of the cases analysed involved children younger than six. The parts most frequently injured include the head, neck and face.

The study, conducted by investigators at the US-based Centre for Injury Research and Policy, found three-quarters of children who sustained injuries were younger than 10.

The study, which examined patterns and trends of bunk bed-related injuries among children and young adults - up to 21 years - found there were an estimated 572,580 bunk bed-related injuries in the US during the 16-year study period.

“The high rates of injury found in our study suggest the need for increased prevention efforts to lower the risk of bunk bed-related injury, especially among young children and young adults,” said study co-author Gary of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The study also found 18- to 21-year-olds experienced twice as many injuries as adolescents in the 14-17 age group.

The reason for this finding is unknown. However, individuals in this age group may use bunk beds more frequently due to increased residence in institutional settings, such as college dormitories and the military.

“Everyone wants to feel safe and secure while resting or sleeping, yet bunk beds are a common source of injury among children and adolescents,” said study co-author Lara McKenzie, principal investigator at the Nationwide Children’s.

The findings of the study have been published in the June issue of the journal Paediatrics.

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