A new study has found that children as well as young adults between the ages of 18-21 are at risk of getting hurt if they use bunk beds.
The 16-year study had researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital saying that 'increased prevention' was needed in order to lower such injuries.
"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 Smith, MD, DrPH, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and an associate professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
The study found that the most common bunk bed-related injuries included lacerations, contusions/abrasions and fractures.
While fractures were the third most common injury, people who suffered them were almost six times more likely to require hospital admission, transfer to another hospital, or to be held for observation.
Researchers noted that the head/neck and face were the most likely to get hurt, especially among small children who, due to a higher center of gravity, tend to fall head first.
They found that kids below the age of 3 were 40 percent more likely to sustain head injuries, while 18- to 21-year-olds experienced twice as many injuries as adolescents in the 14- to17-year-old age group.
"Our study found that bunk bed-related injuries can be severe and require hospital admission. In addition to children less than 6 years of age, young adults have a significantly increased risk of injury from bunk beds in schools, recreational sports facilities and public properties," said study co-author Lara McKenzie, PhD, MA, principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's, and an assistant professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
The study is published in the June issue of Pediatrics.