Although we all visit the bathroom on a regular basis, many of us don’t realize that this room is one of the most dangerous in the house. In fact, 235,000 teens and adults visit the emergency room each year due to bathroom injuries.
The majority happen in the shower and near the toilet. While seniors are prone to injuries near the toilet, young adults are most likely to be involved in shower accidents.
People of all ages can truly benefit from making the bathroom safer! Check out 10 bathroom safety tips you may want to consider implementing in your home to keep everyone in the family secure.
Need assistance making your bathroom safe? Give C&W Plumbing a call at 972-395-2597 for plumbing fixes or a bathroom makeover.
1. Convert your shower or tub to a walk-in tub.
Converting to a walk-in tub or shower can be one of the most beneficial safety upgrades, especially for seniors. A number of falls and accidents occur while stepping in or over the tub wall; a walk-in tub removes that step.
If no one in your family uses the tub for bathing, you may want to consider removing it altogether and turning it into a more easily accessible walk-in shower.
2. Turn down the water temperature.
Almost everyone enjoys a hot shower, but when is “hot” too hot? Burns are another bathroom accident, to which infants and toddlers are especially vulnerable. Turning the water temperature of your water heater from 140 degrees to 120 can greatly reduce the chance of burns while bathing.
If it’s time for a new water heater, you may want to consider a tankless option. They are rated by max temperatures rather than size and heat up to about 120 degrees.
Some faucets have valves that can be set to prevent scalding. Need help figuring out whether yours have this feature? Call us at C&W Plumbing. We can also help install new faucets, if you decide that’s best for your family.
3. Get rid of throw rugs.
Although throw rugs can bring a pop of color and personality to your bathroom, they can also be the cause of falls. In fact, they are a major cause of falls in the house! Throw rugs can easily slip out from underfoot, especially as someone steps out of a bath or shower.
If you can’t part with some sort of covering on your bathroom floor, consider using rugs with non-slip backings.
4. Add a non-slip mat to the tub.
Water makes the already-smooth surface slippery, but with soap and shampoo added to the mix, it’s no wonder the tub is the setting for many falls. Your tub or shower should include a non-slip mat or strip.
If you have children, non-slip mats with cute designs, like fish, whales, or dolphins, can make bath time fun!
5. Always light your bathroom properly.
Adequate lighting is a must for any room, but it’s especially important for the bathroom. Stepping in and out of the tub becomes much easier when you can properly see where you are going.
For nighttime, consider adding a nightlight. This will make it easier for everyone in the family to find the bathroom and the main light switch, even when they’re groggy and not fully awake.
6. Keep your bathroom clean.
Keeping a clean bathroom is an absolute must, no matter the ages of those in your household. Not only is it hygienic, it will prevent slips and falls. Soap scum can easily accumulate on the bottom of a shower. Cleaning on a regular basis removes that accumulation and reduces the chances of falls.
Mold is also extremely quick to grow in a dirty or unkempt bathroom. If left unchecked, this growth can cause health problems like:
- Irritated eyes
- Irritated skin
- And more
Already have a mold issue you want to take care of? These substances can help:
Just remember to never mix these chemicals together, as they can create toxic gases.
7. Use a removable shower head.
You probably never thought switching your shower head could make you safer, but a fixed shower head requires a significant amount of moving around to rinse all those tough-to-reach spots. A removable shower heard reduces the amount of moving around you do, decreasing your chances of falling.
It’s also a smart switch if you have a senior citizen in your home, as they can use a removable shower head even when they’re sitting on a bath bench.
8. Lock up medications and cleaning products.
Locking up your cleaning products, medications, and other toiletry items—soap, shampoo, razors—is especially important if you have young children in the house. Although some medicines have child-resistant caps, kids are clever; you shouldn’t assume they won’t be able to open what they want to get into.
Keep them completely out of reach and/or add a child lock to the cabinets where they’re stored.
Doing this makes your house safer for pets as well!
9. Stow electronics.
Hair dryers, curlers, razors, and electric toothbrush chargers should all have specific storage places within your bathroom. They should never be left on the sink’s counter. Even hanging out there for a short time can tempt children who shouldn’t access them. Putting them away in a secure spot after every use can help prevent electrical shocks and other injuries.
Refrain from charging your smart phone in the bathroom as well.
10. Raise the toilet seat.
In some bathrooms, the toilet seat is set too low to the floor to be safe, making standing up difficult. This is heightened for adults or senior citizens who have a hard time getting up from lower positions. A high-rise toilet seat can easily be added to your existing toilet, or you could install a new, higher toilet.
Installing a grab bar near the toilet can ease family members’ experience even more.
Following these 10 safety tips for your bathroom can significantly reduce the chance of injury to everyone in your family, whether they’re young or old. If you need assistance or advice on how to make your bathroom safe, whether it’s installing a new toilet, converting to a walk-in tub, or another upgrade, give C&W Plumbing a call at 972-395-2597!