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Mother and Injured Son Implore: Use the Free Bed Rails Available on Campus

When Clark Jacobs climbed into his loft bed at Georgia Tech in January 2015, he could never have anticipated the fall that would cause him to spend the next two years recovering from injuries he sustained and relearning how to live — all of which could have been prevented by a bed rail.

Like many college students, Clark slept in a loft bed pushed up against a wall on one side, with nothing on the other side between him and a seven-foot drop to the hard floor. It was that seven-foot drop from his mattress onto the floor that resulted in a fractured skull and required Clark to have emergency brain surgery.

Data shows that each year in the U.S., there are approximately 36,000 bunk/loft bed-related injuries serious enough to require an emergency room visit.

Since her son’s injury, Mariellen Jacobs has been on a mission to make sure loft beds are safer in residence halls and fraternity houses. She founded a non-profit organization, Rail Against the Danger (RAD), to raise awareness about the need for bed safety rails. Mariellen and Clark will be the first to tell you bed rails weren’t something they thought much about before the life-changing fall.

The University System of Georgia provides free bed safety rails with all loft beds across institutions. The facts show that people ages 18-to 21-year olds sustain bed-related injuries two times as often as 13-to 16-year olds, with falls being the reason 75 percent of the time.

College students need to be aware of the consequences that can happen if they don’t use a bed safety rail. Get a rail, it could save your life! Think you’re too old for a safety rail? Don’t fall for that. Visit railagainstthedanger.org for more information.

Student safety is a primary concern for Georgia Southern University. The University has taken precautions against raised bed-related injuries by limiting the height of junior loft beds to no more than 36 inches in all of its residence halls. Bed safety rails are available for any student who requests one and are installed by University Housing staff. A bed safety rail is required if a student requests to have a bed that exceeds 36 inches in height.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers 118-degree programs serving 20,673 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered and hands-on approach to education. Visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu.

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Posted in Residence Halls