Make Your Bathroom Safe

Courtesy of www.redbeacon.com
by Alan Knight

The bathroom, usually the smallest room in your home, is statistically the most dangerous. A 2008 study conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, found that about 235,000 people over the age of 15 visited emergency rooms due to injuries that occurred in the bathroom. These injuries are not only limited to slips and falls. There’s risk of electrocution if an electrical appliance falls into water as well as the risk of poison since many chemical products are often housed in the bathroom. Don’t forget those nasty cuts from the sharp items that abound in the bathroom like razors, or even hand held mirrors that can shatter when dropped. This is beginning to sound like a hazard zone but it really doesn’t have to be. Your bathroom can and should be a safe space for people of all ages.

Children, adults and especially seniors are vulnerable and can be at risk if thoughtful precautions are not taken. You can start with the easy improvements that require little to no expense and move up to more extensive changes or upgrades if necessary. This is your family’s safety and that is always a number one priority. Let’s start with the small stuff.

POISON CONTROL

Can you believe the second leading cause of home injury death is poisoning? It leads to about 5,000 fatalities a year.

Courtesy of  www.slideshare.net
 Most people (I hope) want to make sure their bathrooms are as germ- and bacteria-free as possible. It’s not an easy task because frankly, humans harbor all kinds of bacteria and germs and we leave are mark everywhere. You possibly use bleach or possibly ammonia and other strong cleaners with chemicals to ensure you rid your bathroom of the pesky germs and odors. Did you know that if bleach or ammonia are mixed together they make a potentially deadly gas? Either one of them alone can cause burns or respiratory problems to people who are generally sensitive to chemicals.  Don’t forget about drain cleaners. Many can burn skin if touched and it is essential to be very careful when using them.

If you have these items in your bathroom or anywhere else in your home (like the kitchen), it is essential to have them clearly marked. Educate your young ones on the perils of touching these chemicals. Ideally, if you have very young children, store them in a place where they can’t reach or even better, under lock and key.

DON’T BE SHOCKED!

I mean that literally. You keep your blow dryers and curling irons in the bathroom. You may have an electric toothbrush on your countertop. Any of these items can cause electrocution if they fall into a tub or a sink filled with water. Beware of damaged or frayed cords as they can be another hazard especially if they are lying on a wet countertop.

Courtesy of  www.mayfieldplumbingblog.com
The safety precautions are common sense though not everyone follows them. Make sure all electrical appliances are unplugged and away from any water when not in use. Don’t use these appliances near water, please. It is too easy to cause an unnecessary accident and is easily avoidable.

BE SHARP WITH YOUR RAZORS

As you know, young children love to explore. They are in awe of all of their surroundings and are fascinated by the littlest trinkets and gadgets. Some of those gadgets should not be within their reach and the razor is one of them. Simply put them in a cabinet that is out of reach and don’t leave them in the shower or tub. Keep your children cut-free.

PROTECT AGAINST THE NUMBER ONE CULPRIT- FALLS

Falls are the leading cause of home injury deaths with about 6,000 fatalities per year. Seniors are especially vulnerable. About one in three seniors who suffer a fall, will incur injuries that lead to hospitalization. There are many ways to protect against these accidents and some are fairly simple remedies.

1.      Rugs can be a hazard but they don’t have to be. Throw rugs in the bathroom enhance the d├ęcor and add a little color and luxury. They can also cause you to trip or fall when they slip. Your bathroom can still be plush and safe if you purchase non-skid rugs. Double sided industrial tape placed beneath the rug will keep it safely secured to the floor.

Courtesy ofwww.azx7.com
2.      Light it up. Good lighting is essential in every bathroom. But night lights are the key to adding another safety element to that space. How many times have you woken up to use the bathroom and ended up bumping into the wall while you are half asleep? Install night lights to guide you safely into the bathroom and prevent unnecessary accidents.

3.      Grab on to those grab bars. These bars may be one the most useful preventative items you can purchase for your bathroom. Install them near the toilet area to allow ease of transfer. Getting up and down onto the toilet can be especially difficult for seniors. You should not expect that toilet paper holders, towel racks or wall-mounted sinks can reasonably support one’s weight. Proper installation is the key to safety. They should not just be mounted onto the sheetrock but instead, firmly attached to a wall stud. This can be a do-it-yourself project but for those lacking skills of a carpenter, professional installation might be a good idea. I’ll discuss a little more about grab bars for the bath/shower area in the next section.

SCRUB A DUB DUB- DON’T FALL GETTING OUT OF THE TUB

That says it all. Most falls in the bathroom occur while getting in or out of the bathtub and shower. Seniors are most susceptible due to their lack of agility. There are a few precautions you can take to make the area much safer for everyone.
1.      Use grab bars. As I mentioned previously, these need to be properly installed for paramount safety. Knowing there is something to hold onto while getting in and out of the tub can provide an extra level of comfort.
2.      Rubber mats are all the rage. Well, that might be an exaggeration but they definitely have their place in preventing slipping in the tub or shower.
Image courtesy of TubKing.com
3.      Sit comfortably and safely. Shower seats and chairs should be purchased with care. Make sure they have rubber and suction feet to prevent slippage.
4.      A hand held shower head makes bathing a blast. Whether you are a senior or someone who is just a bit tired after a long day, it is pretty relaxing to sit in the shower and be able to control the placement of the shower. It does provide an added layer of protection and safety.

THE ULTIMATE SCORE

The emergence of walk-in tubs and showers really is all the rage. These are amazing additions to any bathroom and will provide years of comfort and safety. Literally, you can walk right in without having to climb. They come with many additions, like built in chairs, removable shower heads and built-in grab bars. They are not only extremely functional, but quite elegant and are an upgrade that will pay off for many years to come.


In this article, I provided you with many precautionary measures you can take to make your bathroom a safer place for people of all ages and give everyone in your home more peace of mind. 

If you would like a FREE copy of our eBook "The Walk-In Tub Buyers Guide", fill out the form below and we will send it to you.


Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and my brother, Alan, who heads up Tub King, will personally get back to you. It’s been my pleasure sharing this information with you.



Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 



Related articles