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Study uncovers dangers of bunk-beds

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Teenagers and not just young children often suffer bunk bed-related injuries that can require hospital admission, according to a major US study.

The study, due to be published in the journal Pediatrics, found that while three-quarters of the children who sustained bunk bed-related injuries were younger than 10 years old, there is a surprising spike in injuries among individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 years.

The study found 18- to 21-year-olds experienced twice as many injuries as adolescents in the 14- to17-year-old age group.

‘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 Dr Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

The study, which looked at 16 years of US national data, estimated there were around 36,000 cases of bunk-bed injury annually in the country. Injuries occurred most frequently among males and the body regions most frequently affected were the head/neck and face.

The most common injuries included lacerations, contusions/abrasions and fractures. Patients with fractures were almost six times more likely to require hospital admission, transfer to another hospital, or to be held for observation.

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