Waterbed Safety Tips
by: Michael O'Brien
Many people enjoy the comfort and warmth of a quality waterbed. Since the early days of a simple water-filled bladder surrounded by a wooden frame, waterbed technology has developed making modern beds more comfortable, more efficient and safer. Now the word safer may imply that waterbeds were unsafe. With millions of waterbeds sold and in service, relatively few problems have been reported and certainly no more than with traditional flatbeds.
In the early days of waterbeds, there was a wildly mistaken notion that the weight of waterbed would be enough to have it come crashing through the floor of the average home or apartment. The fact that this perception developed at all is interesting since to this very day, there has not been one documented case of a waterbed falling through the floor of a properly constructed residential floor. Even a leaky mattress would not lead to catastrophic failure or flooding of the bedroom.
There is not a science associated with waterbed safety and common sense rules the day. Given the design, and construction of the average waterbed, there are certain things that should be absolutely avoided.
Never, under any circumstances allow a baby to sleep in a waterbed, with or without an adult. Bed-sharing with an adult is a common cause of death and injury among infant children. This advice is almost universal in the medical community and is based on several, very important concerns. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is considered by medical experts to be the leading cause of death from infancy through 1 year of age. SIDS affects infants most often between the age of 4 and 6 months when the infant is most able to roll over. A crib with a firm mattress is recommended and blankets, pillows and other bedding items should not be placed near the baby. If placed on a waterbed, the baby could roll over and find its face against the water mattress, unable to get enough air which could lead to suffocation.
Never allow children or anyone else for that matter, to jump on the waterbed. All sorts of trouble can arise from that, not the least of which is the potential of injury from falls. Damage to the waterbed is likely from damage to the mattress to structural failure of the frame.
Never bring sharp objects like scissors and knives to bed for very obvious reasons. A sharp object or tool can puncture the mattress and render it unusable and beyond economical repair. The same advice goes for smoking in bed, any bed not only because of the risk of damage but the risk of fire and serious personal injury.
Never setup your waterbed without a sturdy vinyl safety liner. In the event of a leak, the liner is capable of retaining all of the water in the mattress inside the confines of the frame.
Always make sure that the frame is assembled properly and inspect the frame for structural integrity once a year. If you suspect the frame is failing, immediately drain the bed and make necessary repairs.
Always inspect the visible cables, plugs and control of your bedís electric heating system every six months or whenever you add conditioner. If you drain the bed for any reason, that provides a good opportunity to inspect the heater and the mattress. Look for worn spots check the mattress for areas where the vinyl is stiff and not pliable. Always replace the mattress if you suspect it has been damaged or the water has been allowed to develop a growth of algae.
So be mindful of the unique challenges of owning a waterbed and you can enjoy a great nightís sleep.
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