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225 Bunk beds place of danger?
  1. Gabriele Ellsäßer1,
  2. Frank Gries1,
  3. Tania Vandenberghe2
  1. 1Department of Health within the State Office of Environment, Health and Consumer Protection, Brandenburg/Germany
  2. 2ANEC, the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation, Belgium

Abstract

Background The European standard for bunk beds, EN 747–1, was amended in 2015 to introduce the need for manufacturers to mark bunk beds with either a warning text or a pictogram indicating the beds are not suitable for children <6 ys. Whilst applauding the amendment to this standard, we do however need to continue analysing the injury event in order to identify high risk groups, critical circumstances. Since 2008 the full Injury Database (FDS) has been implemented in three main German hospitals with paediatric wards reporting to the Brandenburg Department of Health. The FDS contains product related injuries, the doctor’s narrative and injuries with bunk beds were specifically identified.

Methods Monitoring of injured patients <18 ys admitted to hospital (either at emergency department or paediatric ward) based on the European IDB standard during 2008–2014. Analysis of 10,332 injury cases in under 10-year-olds. Bunk bed injuries were counted when a bunk bed was mentioned as a ”trigger“ or “causing” factor (n = 170).

Results Products were involved in 7,730 (75%) injuries in under 10-year-olds. Specifically bunk beds were the 7th most frequent product related cause of injuries in the < six-year-olds and the 4th in the 2-to3-year-olds. 133 (78%) of all bunk bed injuries occurred in the < 6-year-olds. The most frequent accident events were #1 falling out of the upper bunk bed, #2falls from bunk bed steps and #3 falls from bunk bed related furniture (e.g. slides). 100 (58%) of these injuries demanded hospital admission, of which 75 serious head injuries (ICD-10 S01 – S06) and 18 suffered a second injury.

Conclusions When buying bunk beds, parents seem to be unaware of the danger for very young children. The amended European standard is an important step forward, but parental care is equally important. A parental education campaign would be valuable. Last but not least, enforcement of the new standard is crucial as well.

  • child safety
  • bunk beds
  • standards
  • product safety

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