Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates the bathroom can be a dangerous place. More than 235,000 people over age 15 visit emergency rooms yearly because of bathroom injuries. Of the injuries, 14 percent of those brought into the ER require hospitalization, and 31 percent of the injuries occur to the head and neck area of the body.
How safe is your bathroom? It’s likely not even a thought each morning when you shower or bathe your children. But given the statistics behind bathroom injuries, it’s worth considering how you can make your bathroom safer.
A slippery floor can easily cause anyone slip. Falls make up 81 percent of reported bathroom-related injuries. Keep the space dry by checking your tub, pipes and toilet for possible leaks. Water that pools outside the tub, near the base of the toilet or around the vanity indicates a water leak. Check out our guide to locate your leak and make the repair quickly.
Storing your towels or toiletries on bathroom shelves is a good for staying organized. However, the nails or screws that hold those shelves in place can loosen over time. Occasionally check your shelving and towel racks to ensure they are stable.
The tub/shower was the number one space for injuries in the bathroom, accounting for nearly 70 percent of accidents. The base of the tub can become very slippery with the use of soap, shampoo and other bath products. Use slip-resistant decals at the bottom of the shower to help provide balance. The decals will help prevent slips when entering, using and leaving the tub.
Store Cleaners Out Of Reach
Children are natural explorers. Keep all cleaning supplies out of reach of curious kids. Instead, store them in your laundry space, garage or behind a childproof cabinet door. Use non-toxic cleaners to help create a safe environment.
Steady Toppling Toilet
People over 85 suffer more than half of their injuries near the toilet. If your toilet wiggles or rocks when your sit or touch it, make adjustments to steady the stool. Check the bolts at the base of the toilet, which are typically covered by plastic caps, and tighten them if needed. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll need to remove the toilet and inspect for a leak that may have damaged the flooring. Water-damaged floors will bend and soften, allowing the toilet to move. Also, check that the wax rings are free of debris. If needed, replace those rings to help steady the toilet.
The bathroom should be a private retreat to prepare for and unwind from a long day. By making these small, affordable adjustments, you can improve the safety of your bathroom.