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《Risk No Kid – Up Your Knowledge on Hydraulic Beds and Folding Tables》
- The material must be sturdy: Check if the material, gas springs and wood boards are solid enough, and that the metal lifting frames are firmly secured.
- The gas springs should provide sufficient support: Since the mattress, bed board and bed frames are to be lifted in one go, the gas springs (hydraulic arms) must be strong enough and provide sufficient support. Consumers should check for information regarding the manufacturer, brand and load capacity (such as 1000N (~ 100 kg), 250lbs or 60kg) with respect to the gas springs when making purchase. Some mattresses are extremely heavy, and therefore will need stronger gas springs for lifting / supporting actions. On the contrary, if the mattress and the bed board are relatively light, you may find it difficult to “close” the bed if you use a heavy-duty hydraulic system.
- The gas springs must be securely installed: Ensure that the gas springs (which are attached to the metal lifting frames) are symmetrically and securely installed and without any obstruction, and that all screws are tightly fastened. Otherwise, the safety, ease of operation and durability of the hydraulic system and the bed might be compromised.
- Safety support: If the model is not fitted with self-locking gas springs, then additional support device should be installed.
- Remove items on the bed: Before operating a hydraulic bed, remove all heavy or loose items on the bed.
- Do not operate alone: Make sure someone is with you and can assist if things go wrong.
- Keep an eye on children, elderly and pets: Children and elderly are not strong enough to operate hydraulic beds, and accidents could easily happen. Pets may jump around and cause accidents too.
- Ensure that it is locked into the position: After lifting the bed, ensure that the gas springs are locked to prevent sliding and potential collapse. If the bed does not have additional support device, consumers can put furniture or household items (such as suitcases or chairs) on each side and the middle for support. In the event of an accident, these items could provide a good cushion.
- Maintain a proper posture: When you lift / close the hydraulic bed, ensure you do it in a proper posture to avoid injury.
Folding tables – potential household hazards
There were a number of fatalities in Hong Kong involving children and folding tables. Most of these cases happened when a folding table was turned upside down, and a young child sat on the horizontal bar of the table causing the legs to close / collapse and the child got trapped and subsequently died from strangulation. Once trapped by the table legs, it is almost impossible for a child to escape, as the legs will get tighter when the child struggles harder.
How to avoid the accident
- Safety lock (a metal cross bolt with built-in spring): Consumers should not buy a folding table without a safety locking device. Choose a table that is sturdy – e.g., all screws on the legs should be securely fastened, and there should not be any loose part. After opening up the table, remember to put the safety lock in place so that the table will not close / collapse accidentally.
- Put it in a safe place: If you have toddlers at home who are learning to crawl or walk, they often like to climb over furniture or lean against them for balance. So, it is best to put the folded (closed) table against the wall so that it will not fall (and turn over) easily, causing harm to children.
- Teach your child: Teach children about the dangers of folding tables and how to use them properly. They need to learn why not to turn over the table and crawl or hide between the table legs, and why not to climb over a table or exert excessive pressure on one end causing the table to turn over, etc.
- Keep an eye on your child: Even if it's just a few minutes, accidents could happen. So, make sure that the children are always being supervised by adults!