As a parent, the fear of your toddler climbing and falling off a certain height from a bunk bed ladder never really goes away, and rightfully so as the American Academy of Pediatrics has posited that up to 50% of bunk bed accidents occur in children from 3-6 years old.
Ensuring your adventurous child resists the urge to climb up the bunk bed ladder in a dangerous manner or without supervision can be a daunting task. If not, you run the risk of your toddler having nasty falls resulting in concussions, broken limbs, or even worse.
How to Block Off a Bunk Bed Ladder
The first step to ensuring your child is safe while using a bunk bed is to talk to that child and make it clear that falling from the ladder is dangerous and the effect will be painful. Help the child understand how hurtful an injury of this kind might be. You may use relatable terms like “you won’t be able to play your favorite games until you are properly healed”.
Ensure your child understands this by repeating it back to you several times. With a compliant child, this should be sufficient to ensure the child is cautious around the bunk bed ladder.
However, a daredevil child may need some extra protection. You will need to employ some drastic measures to guarantee safety. Here’s how to block off a bunk bed ladder to ensure your child’s safety.
- If your bunk bed is retractable, you should be able to push the ladder upward until it is on the bunk bed which will be out of the reach of toddlers.
- Detach the ladder from the bunk bed during the day when your toddler is awake. Many ladders attached to bunk beds include a simple hook feature which you can use to set it in place. To detach it, you need to lift the ladder up and out. Depending on which type of ladder you have, you could just easily slide it up, or you may need to use a screwdriver to detach and store it.
- Search around for any furniture or object that your child could use to climb back up to the bunk bed and move it. Any object high enough to be used may also pose the same danger as a ladder for an adventurous toddler.
- You can also invest in a cover for your bunk bed ladder. These will be effective on pipe, metal, or wooden ladders and will make it near impossible for your toddler to climb the rungs. You can also create your ladder cover by securing the ladder with a quilt and duct tape at the back.
- When the toddler doesn’t need to be in the bedroom during the daytime, you can lock the bedroom with the beds to keep it from adventurous toddlers. You may only be able to pull this off if you have a playroom area in your room where your kids can be till it’s time to sleep. By locking the door, you send a message to your child that the bedroom is not a place to play, and it should only be used for sleeping.
- You could also block off bunk bed ladders by removing two lower rungs to ensure toddlers do not have access to climb it. While you could simply twist out some ladder rungs, you may need to employ the services of a lumber company to remove the rungs of a few other types of ladders.
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Safety Guidelines for Bunk Bed from the Safety Commission for Consumer Product
- Bunk beds should not be used by kids younger than 6 or 7 years old. If a bunk bed is used, toddlers should always be made to take the lower bunk.
- Parents should install night lights that will help aid the kid’s visibility while they climb up or down the ladder.
- Children should be taught the dangers of playing on the top bunk as opposed to playing in a room that has been designed to be safe for play.
- Parents or guardians should ensure that the bunk bed is not placed close to any danger. You must ensure the bunk bed is removed from any electric circuit, ceiling fans, or sharp objects.
Safety must always be made a priority when dealing with toddlers. It might be difficult to get your child to comply, so you may need to take some extra measures.
If you have enough space, you should consider detaching the bunk beds completely. This will create two separate beds without any need for a ladder thereby eliminating any form of danger. When your child gets older and can climb to the top bunk safely, you can consider putting the bunk back together.
Joseph is the owner of LadderGeek. He is a home remodeling enthusiast. He has created this blog to share some of his knowledge on Ladder and accessories.