Two years ago, a student named Clark Jacobs fell from his lofted bed at a Georgia Tech fraternity house. He landed head-first and fractured his skull as a result. The injury led to a stroke and the need for intense rehabilitation to perform even basic tasks.
After the injury, Clark’s mother started a nonprofit called Rail Against the Danger (RAD), which advocates for colleges to provide bed rails to protect students from falls. The group’s work has led to the University System of Georgia offering, for the first time, bed safety rails to students at no cost. RAD seeks for bed rails to be mandated, but the University System’s acknowledgement of the issue is an important first step.
According to RAD, there are approximately 36,000 cases of loft bed/bunk bed related injuries annually among children and young adults up to 21 years old. It is estimated that 450 people die in these incidents every year. And yet, many colleges don’t even offer rails, leaving students vulnerable to injury and even death.
RAD says that young adults aged 18 to 21 suffered from bed-related injuries twice as often as 13-16 year olds. Falls are the reason for these injuries 75 percent of the time.
We’ve written about RAD before – check out this older blog postabout RAD’s sponsorship of design teams seeking safe and functional bed rail options for college dorms.