Tips To Make Your Bathroom Experience Less Dangerous
Full disclosure, I have entitled this blog “Bathroom Safety for Dummies” not to be insulting but rather in keeping with my own personal experience. I, myself being said dummy, took a nasty and yet easily preventable fall in my bathtub recently after slipping on an unsecured shower mat.
While the slip happened so fast I could scarcely believe it, I felt like I was helplessly falling in slow motion. Out from under me went my foot as if I’d just had my leg swept out by some invisible World Cup soccer defenseman. Next followed my ankle clanking down hard on the shower door frame before I landed with my knee painfully breaking my fall on the bathtub floor. Fortunately a banged up knee is all I suffered in the incident. Others, such as the elderly or young children, might not have been so lucky.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 200,000 people are injured in bathrooms each year making it one of the most dangerous places in your home. And, as I experienced firsthand, most accidents occur when people are climbing in or out of the bathtub. You don’t say? That being said, there are many ways to avoid these types of accidents from occurring by taking the time to give your bathroom some preventative maintenance. Here’s how to avoid falling and feeling like a dummy in your bathroom!
Throw away you throw rugs: These flimsy floor coverings are a leading cause of household falls. If your insist on keeping area rugs in your bathroom be sure to secure them with non-slip backings or double-sided tape.
Place non-slip strips, mats or tiles in your tub and shower to help prevent falls and (unlike me) secure any loose corners or suction tabs on mats.
Make sure your tub is kept clean to prevent build up of slippery soap scum or mold.
Make an effort to keep the bathroom floor dry. By making sure it has no water on it you can avoid unnecessary slip-ups. There are weighted shower curtains which will help prevent water from making it to the floor.
Install grab bars or rails in or around the bathtub, shower and toilet.
Swap out your traditional shower head for a handheld or adjustable one. You can maneuver it where you want it, minimizing your movement in the shower. Also, you can use it while sitting safely on your bath seat or bench.
Keep a nightlight in the hallway and bathroom.
Never leave young children in the bathroom unattended.
Know your poisons. Be aware of what items in your bathroom are poisons and store them safely out of reach of young children.
Store medicines and cleaning products in their original containers.
Keep hair dryers, curling irons and electric razors away from water.
Always unplug appliances after using them.
All your medicines and cleaning products should have child safety caps.
If possible go the next step and lock up all medicines, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in a cabinet.
Eliminate the reach: Place commonly used items within easy reach in areas where there is a higher risk of slipping or falling. Items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, and any other bathing items should be kept within reach.
Remove any unnecessary items that could be easily tripped over. One of the biggest risks for the elderly is tripping over the side of their bathtub.
Install door hardware that can be unlocked from both sides so you can easily access a child or elderly person who has become trapped or injured in the bathroom.