How to Obtain a Safety Bed for your Child
Getting a toddler bed for your kid is supposed to be exciting. Right of passage! However, obtaining a safety bed for our Maxwell, who has FOXG1 Syndrome, was difficult. I will write about our battle in a subsequent blog post. In this post, I want to tell you how we received a safety bed for Maxwell, in case you need to obtain one for your child too.
At 3 years of age, Max was so tall! I knew he needed a new bed, but wasn’t really sure where to buy a bed that would keep him safe. Unfortunately, you can’t just go to the safety bed store and buy one. Max was also getting his limbs stuck in the slats of his crib, and once he was stuck, he would knock on the walls for help. Nighttime was scary. I never wanted to fall in a deep sleep for fear that he would be stuck, and I wouldn’t hear him knock. I knew it was time to start the process of obtaining a safety bed.
What is a Safety Bed?
A safety bed is designed to keep a child, specifically, children with special needs, safe from falling, entrapment, escape, or accidents.
Features of the bed include:
Gapless – meaning the mattress and sides of bed are a snug fit – no gaps- so the child cannot become entrapped
Keep child secure in bed- some safety beds have zippers, some have doors, slats, to help keep a child from wandering or falling out of their bed
Medical mattress- some beds come with a mattress that can easily be wiped down in case the child has an accident
Articulation – some beds allow for the head, foot, and/or platform of the bed to raised and lowered to accommodate the child and assist the caregiver.
Place for medical equipment- some beds have special accessories to hold things like tubing, bags of food for tube fed babes, etc.
Padding – to protect a child from hurting themselves against the wall of the bed. Kids like my Maxwell need padding in their bed because if Max is up against a hard side of the bed, he will continuously bang his head against the hard surface- unintentionally. The padding protects him from being hurt.
Windows or slats so the kids can see out and caregivers can see in.
These are some of the wonderful features safety beds have to help protect special needs children, and allow them to have a safe and peaceful sleeping environment.
How to Obtain a Safety Bed
These beds are provided through a durable medical equipment (DME) supplier. Here are the things I researched and actionable steps I took to obtain the bed for Max.
If you have private insurance, does it cover safety beds?
In our situation, we had to go through our private insurance instead of WV Medicaid.
If you have Medicaid, does your state’s Medicaid cover safety beds?
Do you have a DME supplier in your state who will obtain the bed you need?
In our situation, every DME supplier in WV told me “they don’t do beds.” I will go more into why it is so hard to get a safety bed in WV in another blog post.
Call the bed company and speak with one of their sales people to talk about which bed model and features would best suit your child.
I did this prior to having my pediatrician write the order so I knew EXACTLY what we were getting because once the DME had our script – no one asked me what features, colors, headboard I wanted to for the bed. The bed company will keep this quote on file so they know what you need when the order comes through.
Have your pediatrician write a prescription for the bed with the brand name and model.
Have your pediatrician write a letter of medical necessity explaining why your child needs the bed. THIS IS KEY!
I used this super helpful blog post to help me draft my own letter of medical necessity for Maxwell. I sent this letter to our pediatrician so that he could use it as a guide, review, make edits, and sign it. Once signed, it was faxed to both our insurance company and DME supplier.
Give the letter and prescription to your DME supplier.
If you can, work with a care specialist within your insurance company and provide them with a copy of the prescription and letter of medical necessity.
FOLLOW UP ALL THE FREAKING TIME! Once the insurance and DME have the script and letter, hypothetically, communication between the two parties should go smoothly. This is not always the case. I would highly recommend that you stay very involved with what progress the insurance and DME have made toward approval.
Hopefully, if all goes well, your bed will be on it’s way to you because it was deemed a medical necessity!!
This sounds like a lot of work, and for me, it was because WV makes obtaining a bed difficult. Not all states are like this. Some are very easy to work with. I am really happy that we went through this process to get a bed for Max. The day his Beds by George Dream Series 1800 was granted, I BAWLED MY EYES OUT – ugly cry, right in the middle of our local cupcake shop. It has been life changing! Max sleeps safe and sound in his big boy bed that protects him from entrapment! Plus, safety beds are so nicely designed!
I wish you the very best if you decide to try and obtain a safety bed for your child. Please feel free to reach out and ask questions. I’m no expert, but I will try to help you any way I can.
Next, I’ll be writing out why it was difficult to obtain this bed for Max in West Virginia.