Though your home is your haven and comfort zone, you can’t deny the fact that some areas of your home pose risks to the general wellbeing and safety of your family. A well-known accident-prone area in every household is the bathroom where slip and fall accidents are common.
A fall can lead to injuries that can affect mobility, most especially in older adults. In fact, a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that bathroom injury rates increase with age. Added to this is the cost of hospitalization and physiotherapy, which can in itself lead to heavy financial burden. To avoid these problems, you should consider bathroom safety as a priority and take proactive actions geared toward accident prevention.
Why make your bathroom a safer area in your house?
Though you need to make every area of your home safe, the bathroom should be on top of your list for the following reasons.
You use your bathroom every day. Aside from your bedroom and kitchen, you also spend a lot of time in the bathroom to attend to your physical needs and personal hygiene. This is the place where you take a shower, use the restroom, shave excess hair, and brush your teeth among other things. Since you come and go to your bathroom every day, you have to make adjustments to make it safer, most especially for children and the elderly.
Children are very playful and curious individuals. You can restrict your children from using the kitchen to avoid unnecessary accidents such as knife cuts, spills, and burns. However, you can’t restrict your children from using the bathroom.
The bathroom is also hazardous to the elderly. Since elderly people generally suffer from poor eyesight, mobility problems, and weaker bones, they are more prone to fall-related injuries and fractures. For these reasons, it is important to make the bathroom fall-proof, which will increase the level of independence of your elderly loved ones.
Bathroom safety tips
Provide adequate lighting. Adequate lighting includes easily accessible light switches both inside and outside the bathroom as well as installing curtains or blinds to prevent glare on the bathroom mirror from sunlight coming in through the window.
Replace your regular bathtub with a walk-in tub. Climbing over the edge of a standard bathtub may seem easy for you (for now). However, when you get older, you’ll have weaker hips, legs, and knees which will make it more difficult for you to get in or out of the tub. Small children may also experience difficulties because they have shorter legs, which can lead to slips and falls. To make it easier for everyone, replace your regular bathtub with a walk-in tub. A walk-in tub is a bathtub with a door that you can easily open and close so there’s no need to climb over the tub.
Add a shower chair. Older adults commonly suffer from back pain, osteoporosis, and eyesight problems, which can make standing on their feet for minutes at a time uncomfortable and difficult. To prevent accidents, avoid back strain, and make shower time a pleasant and safe experience, make them sit on a shower chair during their bath time.
Install grab bars on the walls. Grab bars are bathroom tools that can help you keep your balance as you stand or walk in your bathroom. You can also hold onto it for support in case you lose your balance during dizzy spells. It is recommended that you install grab bars near the areas you frequently use such as the bathtub, toilet, and shower areas.
Use rubber mats. A wet bathroom floor is an accident waiting to happen. If your bathroom tiles are not slip-resistant, you can place rubber mats on your bathroom floor. A rubber mat helps prevent slipping and falling accidents as it provides better friction between your feet and the textured surface of the mat.
Store your bathroom cleaning supplies in a locked cabinet. The bathroom needs frequent cleaning and disinfecting since molds and germs can easily build up in the area. Take note, however, that your bathroom cleaning supplies should be kept safe in a locked cabinet so that your children won’t be able to reach them.
Indeed, the bathroom is one of the most important yet also the most dangerous places in your house. To ensure the safety of your family members, consider these tips and remodel your bathroom into a safer one.