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Bunk bed-related injuries sustained by young children treated in emergency departments in the United States, 2001–2004, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program
  1. Karin A Mack,
  2. Julie Gilchrist,
  3. Michael F Ballesteros
  1. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr K A Mack
 CDC/NCIPC/DUIP, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Mailstop K63, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA; kmack{at}


Objective: To characterize children’s bunk bed-related injuries.

Methods: Data are from the 2001–2004 National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program. Cases were defined as children aged 0–9 years treated for a non-fatal, unintentional injury related to a bunk bed.

Results: An estimated 23 000 children aged 0–9 years were treated annually in emergency departments for bunk bed fall-related injuries, including 14 600 children aged <6 years. Overall, 3.2% were hospitalized. The injuries sustained were largely fractures, lacerations, contusions and abrasions, and internal injuries, with 25.2% injured in a fall from the top bunk. The most commonly injured body region was the head and neck.

Conclusions: Strategies are needed to reduce the most serious injuries. Bunk beds should meet CPSC standards, and the youngest children should not sleep or play in the upper bunk or on ladders. Making care givers aware of the risks, and modifying the living environment are essential.

  • CPSC, Consumer Product Safety Commission
  • NEISS-AIP, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System – All Injury Program

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Drs KAM, JG, and MFB are responsible for the study conception, design, drafting and critical revising of the paper. Dr KAM was responsible for the data analyses and is the guarantor of the paper.