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How to build kids' bunk beds

Safety guidelines continued

Bunk beds need to be built to a certain criteria.

1) Woods and hardware should be of a high quality.
2) Guardrails should be on both sides of the top bunk.
There should be no gaps wider than 3½" (90 mm) or narrower than 9" (225mm) in any part of the bed including guardrails.
3) The top rail should be at least 5 inches (125mm) above the mattress top to prevent your child from rolling over the rails. (Consumer Affairs Vic. Aust. state that the minimum height above the mattress should be 6 1/4" or 160mm.)
4) The guardrail on the side of the bed next to a wall or on the side opposite to a ladder, must run continuously from one end of the bed to the other.
5) A guardrail on the side of the bed away from the wall does not have to run continuously from end to end of the bed, BUT the distance between either end of the guardrail and the end of the bed nearest to it cannot be greater than 15" (375mm).
6) Edges and points, including corners accessible under normal use, should be suitably rounded.
7) All fastenings such as screws, nails, dowels, nuts and bolts should be flush and smooth, with no protrusions of more than 5/16" (8mm), anywhere on the bed.
8) Make sure bunk beds and ladders are sturdy and secure.
9) Use night lights to help children find ladders in the dark.
10) No bunk bed may be painted with lead-containing paint.

Above are excerpts and some of the main points taken from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( ) and Consumer Affairs Victoria Aust. (

bunk bed warning Some more stuff - USA Safety Standard
A new mandatory standard for bunk beds is expected to improve safety for the hundreds of thousands of children who use them. Since mid-2000, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires all bunk beds sold in U.S. to comply with the standards:

• Every bunk bed must have an affixed label that states the bed's manufacturer, model, and mattress size information.
• Every bunk bed must have a warning label that advises against placing children under six years of age in the upper bunk.
• If the bunk bed is taller than 30 inches, it must have a continuous guardrail on the wall side of bed.
• Openings on the upper and the lower bunks must be small enough that a child's head, torso or limb cannot pass through them.

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