The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that over 236,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries every year. At least 14% are hospitalized, over 1/3 occurred while showering or bathing while 14% occurred when using the toilet. This simply indicates that the bathroom may be very dangerous especially for the elderly and children and safety measures must be taken. So what should one do to curb these accidents? Here are some top bathroom safety tips that will play a significant role in protecting your family.
1) Install electrical items properly: Electrical appliances like water heater are necessary in the bathroom. However, they can lead to deadly injuries and accidents when installed wrongly. You can avoid accidents by making sure all electrical appliances are not plugged in areas where they can be splashed by water. Don’t plug them in the bathtub, sink or toilet and avoid plugging in electrical item into water to avoid electrocution.
2) Install a lock outside the bathroom door: The lock should be installed high on the door if there are small children in your home to deny them bathroom access without your supervision. The door should remain locked at all times. This is important because there are too many chances to take chance with small children. For instance, they can drown in toilets easily.
3) Use slip resistant materials in wet areas: Purchase resistant mats with a gritty and non-slip baking surface to prevent bathroom falls and slips. The mats should at least be designed with a suction cup and rubber backing on the floor. Avoid tiles and laminate surfaces on the floor because they can be extremely slippery in the bathroom.
4) Set water heaters at relatively low temperatures: The set temperature should not be over 12o degrees Fahrenheit to prevent burns in the bathroom. Select anti-scald faucets if you want hotter water and keep your bathroom window ajar to prevent overheating or use exhaust fan to keep the air circulated.
5) Have adequate lighting: Make sure your bathroom has adequate lighting during the day and a low nightlight to illuminate the way at night.
6) Mop accumulated water: Accumulated water on the floor is major cause of falls and slips in the bathroom. Inspect the floor regularly if you have children or seniors in your homes to ensure there no water puddles on the floor. It also prevents electrocution in the bathroom.
7) Have a reliable way to call for help: Particularly in homes with people suffering from chronic diseases. You can have a wall mounted alert button to call for help in case someone in your home is injured in a fall.
8) Use circuit interrupter: A ground-fault circuit interrupter is very effective in preventing electrical outlets from being harmful. You can hire an electrician to install it for you protecting you from shock in case water splashes live wires.
9) Ensure bath toy safety: Most kids like playing with toys in the tub. These toys should remain germ free and clean by rinsing them thoroughly after every bath. Don’t buy wooden or porous and spongy toys for your kid because they tend to retain moisture creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
10) Install grab bars: The grab bars should be installed in or around the shower, tub grips around the bathtub and by raised toilet seats on the toilet. They make it easier and safer for the seniors to get out the bathroom even after losing their footing in the shower or tub.
11) Never leave your child in the bathtub: All mothers and nannies understand the significance of this tip. All children under the age of five should not be left alone in the bathtub. They can drown in only a couple of inches of water. Be sure to take the child out of the tub if you have to leave the bathroom.
12) Keep cleaning supplies out of reach of children: Children are very curious and may be attracted to bathroom cleaning supplies like shampoo. Some of these materials are very poisonous especially when handled by children. Keep all your bathroom cleaning supplies under lock and out of sight from young children.
13) Take away all your medications from the bathroom. This is important if there are children in your home. Eliminating their presence will prevent your kids from opening child-proof lids to access drugs in your medicine cabinet. This will reduce cases of wrong prescription.