Bathroom Tips and Upgrades to Reduce Hazards

A bathroom can be a place of danger for many households. Injuries occurring inside the bathroom result in billions of medical cost yearly.

At least 81 percent of bathroom injuries are related to slips, trips, and falls, especially among senior citizens. Among the younger generation, fainting and bumping the head while in the bathroom are fairly common, which experts attribute to alcohol use.

Bathroom injuries among children below 5 years old are also a cause for alarm. Aside from slips, falls, and head injuries, children could scald their skin because of a hot bath water when left unsupervised.

Most people do not usually consider bathroom safety as a health issue until an accident happens. Incorporating safety measures into home design, practicing care with bathroom habits, and raising awareness about its safety among family members or staff can make this area a lot safer.

Shower Safety

Image Credit: mrgrabbar


Bathroom Health and Safety Tips for Seniors

Install grab bars

This safety device is beneficial for older adults especially those who have mobility problems. Grab bars, which are securely mounted on walls, can be positioned at an angle, vertically, or horizontally inside the shower, next to the toilet or as a security pole from the floor to the ceiling. Grab bars help with maneuvering and maintaining balance while showering, bathing, or using the toilet.

The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) established standards of design and guidelines for the proper installation and placement of grab bars in public restrooms, retirement facilities, and private homes.

Invest in bath seating, toilet raiser, and a handheld shower handle
Having a seat in the shower or bathtub, as well as a toilet raiser, prevents falls. Some install this along with grab bars but removable shower chairs, stools, and toilet raisers are also available at home improvement stores in various designs that fit your requirements.

Install an alert system
This can come in a form of a telephone, a medical alert wall button, or a speakerphone that signals help from inside the bathroom in case of emergencies.

Bathroom Health and Safety Basics for Households with Children

A child younger than 6 years old need adult supervision in the bathroom at all times but mere supervision is not enough. The parents or caregivers should also be aware of the hazards and take steps to avoid injuries.

  • Install child-proof knobs so that a child won’t accidentally turn on the water.
  • Use a faucet cover which has protective pads and temperature regulation feature.
  • Never leave water in a bathtub or pail even in small amounts as these are drowning hazards.
  • Cover the toilet with a child-proof lid.
  • Ensure that the water-heating system provides an ideal temperature at 140°F or 60°C to prevent burns or scalds.
  • Properly store and lock any bathroom supplies like shampoo and soap, bathroom tools like blowers, curling irons or razors, and medications inside cabinets or drawers.
  • Secure laundry baskets and hampers so that a child won’t fall in and get trapped.
  • Ensure that the trash can is out of reach from a wandering and curious toddler.
  • Put a cap on all electrical outlets in the bathroom to prevent electric shock.
  • Forego the baby bath seat as experts say it’s not a safety device despite its marketing.
  • Limit the bathtub toys to one or two items only and store these toys after use. Never leave these lying around on the floor as others can step on it and trip or slip.
Baby bath

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General Health and Safety Tips for Bathroom Use
Regardless if you have kids or seniors at home, these tips below should be observed in your household:

Add non-slip strips, ditch the rug. Home improvement and hardware stores have several choices of non-slip tiles and non-slip bath mats that are made of rubber. These prevent slips on wet floors and can be placed in the shower or by the sink. Remove rugs on the bathroom floor, especially the ones that do not have bottom grips, as these can be a tripping hazard.

Keep the bathroom well-lit. Poor lighting raises the risks of accidents as it affects visibility. If possible, install night lights to keep the path to the bathroom well-lit if someone wants to use the bathroom in the wee hours.

Consider mounting dispensers for easy access. You won’t need to worry about shampoo bottles slipping from a person’s grip and causing unimaginable injuries. Install these on the wall near the bathtub or the sink.

The statistics on bathroom accidents among seniors is glaring. In America, the yearly ratio for bathroom falls among older adults is one in four individuals. Aside from physical injuries that set off the body’s deterioration, seniors might also develop a fear in using the bathroom, depression, and feelings of helplessness. Follow these tips to ensure bathroom safety and prevent complications.

Author Bio

Joe FlemingThis article has been written by Joseph Fleming. He is the co-founder Vive Health, LLC. Vive Health which provides highest quality health & medical products at a great value.

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