A bathroom can be a dangerous place when it comes to accidents and injuries, regardless of the age of the user. Bathrooms by design consist of hard vertical and horizontal surfaces which do not offer soft landings. As a result, this increases the risk of fatal head injuries. Every year around 36 million people aged 65 and older sustain injuries falling in the bathroom. Many of which result in serious head injuries. Broken bones from slip and fall accidents in the tub or shower are commonplace for people of all age groups. Although there is probably no such thing as a slip and fall-proof bathroom, there are measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of slipping and falling if we understand what the main causes of bathroom accidents are.
Losing concentration in a wet bathroom is an obvious cause of accidents amongst hurrying adults and playful youngsters. A closer look at the statistics suggests that apart from age, a persons health, medication usage, gender, mobility, and the number of people using the bathroom simultaneously all play a role. Homeowner’s must ensure the bathroom is safe to use, and provide assistance to those with a deficiency or mental health issues. The most common causes of slip and fall accidents include:
There is never a substitute for education to prevent slip and fall accidents. Children must learn from an early age to respect the bathroom and not mess around. Bath-time fun should be restricted to the time when sitting down in the actual bath. Having a regular chat with your loved ones about preventing falls in the bathroom is a great idea. If possible, agree on a daily time for bathing so that you can be available for older adults or those with mobility issues.
Replacing slippery floor tiles with non-slip tiles is no guarantee of accident prevention. Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction. Use non-slip bath mats and rugs which are designed not to slip. Alternatively adapt your existing rugs by attaching non-slip material. If you are buying new bathroom rugs, avoid the fluffy variety.
Install grab bars next to the toilet as well as inside and outside the shower. Make sure the glass shower door handles are easy to reach, and open easily, without the need to be pulled open.
A shower chair is a good addition to help make your walk-in shower space more safe.
Install a shower shelf or shower caddy so that users don’t have to pick up soap and shampoo bottles from the floor. Make sure the shelf is above waist height. Users should be able to reach out, rather than up or down.
For people who are visually impaired, attach bells with different pitches, to bathroom products so that they can be distinguished. Use the same containers and simply refill them when needed.
Keep the bathroom clean. Residual soap suds and a build-up of soap scum can cause users to slip. Shower walls also need to be kept clean. Hang wet towels, rather than dropping them on the floor, as this can be a tripping hazard.
As mentioned at the outset, no bathroom can be 100 percent slip or fall-proof. Nonetheless, the ideas in this article will make your bathroom safer and certainly mitigate some of the risks.
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