Since January is National Bath Safety Month, we want to provide you a few tips on how to practice bathroom safety. With slippery floors and scalding water, the bathroom imposes many dangerous risks for families, especially those with elderly adults, children, or individuals with disabilities. In fact, more than 200,000 people experience a bathroom-related injury each year, according to the National Safety Council. Use these strategies to create a safer bathroom:
Grab bars are an essential for bathroom safety. Oftentimes, when people slip, they’ll reach out and grab the towel bar, which is not strong enough to hold a person’s weight. Bathroom grab bars are especially helpful for elderly adults, as the number of fall deaths among individuals 65 years and older is four times the number of fall deaths among other age groups. Installing grab bars in the shower, next to the tub, and by the toilet will offer a sense of security.
Another way to prevent against dangerous falls is by using non-slip surfaces, such as rubber-bottomed bath mats and sticky bathtub decals. Non-slip bath seats also offer users an easier and more comfortable cleansing environment.
Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom and another one in the hallway to prevent from tripping and falling while on the way to the toilet at night.
Toilet risers, like the Toilevator, can make sitting down and getting up easier for elderly adults or individuals with disabilities. The Toilevator adds 3.5 inches in height to an existing toilet and helps users maintain independence.
Caregivers should set the hot water heater at a safe temperature (at or below 120 degrees) to avoid burning and scalding.
Instead of using bar soaps, which are slippery and can be easily dropped, consider using body wash in pump or squeeze bottles. This can help prevent against slips and falls with trying to reach in the shower or tub.