When it comes to bathroom safety, prevention is everything. The risk of restroom injury grows with age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but it is never too early to take safeguards. Following these guidelines will make your bathroom a safer place for everyone.
Falls are a daily concern for the elderly and others with mobility challenges, and the majority of falls occur in the restroom. In fact, the CDC has classified the bathroom to be the most deadly room in the house. When you take your morning shower or brush your teeth, you’re probably not thinking about the potential hazards of your bathroom. In fact, because bathrooms are part of our daily lives, they may never cross your thoughts. However, the health and injury concerns of this frequently used location might lurk in unexpected places. Here are some suggestions for making your bathroom a more secure environment for you and your family.
Create a safe bathroom by following these 10 tips.
Keep Dangerous Items Out of Reach from Children
In a bathroom, there are numerous hazards for curious children, ranging from sharp objects (razors, scissors and tweezers) to poisonous substances (prescription medications and ointments). To avoid accidents, designate a safe cabinet for cleaning products, tablets and/or medicine. Make certain that any cabinet containing these products is kept out of reach of youngsters. Keep these products in higher cabinets or drawers to avoid them falling into the hands of curious children. If you do not have high cabinets, we recommend adding baby and children locks so they can’t get into those areas.
Add Grab Bars Next to the Toilet, Shower & Bathtub
Falls are the greatest cause of catastrophic brain and hip injuries in older people, resulting in about 2.8 million hospitalizations each year. Installing slip-resistant grab bars in the shower/bathroom is an unavoidable safety precaution. Weight-bearing grab bars and hand railings should be installed next to the toilet, as well as within and just outside the shower. These facilitate and protect transfers (from sitting to standing, for example). Grab bars are available in a number of colors and patterns to match any bathroom, but you should also seek rust-free options with a non-slip texture. Rather than suction-cup types, choose ones that are affixed to the wall, ideally to a stud. Once you have the grab bars our small projects team can help you install them during your bathroom update.
Minimize Slips & Falls
Commonsense procedures can have a major influence on bathroom safety. To prevent injuries from slips and falls, cover all sharp edges with adhesive protectors. Use a shower or bath caddy to keep important items within easy reach so bathers don’t have to reach too far or step out of the tub to obtain what they need. Add non-slip mats and rugs for when you get in and out of the shower. And remember to clean on a regular basis! Mold and mildew make surfaces slippery and can lead to health hazards too.
Brighten the Room Up
Those late-night restroom trips pose a significant danger of damage. Wandering through the dark while half-asleep is a perilous combo. In the bathroom, good illumination can help decrease disorientation and falls. Upgrade to higher-lumen light bulbs and, if necessary, install additional lighting fixtures (our small projects team can help with that). For evening trips, an illuminated switch might be helpful, while a nightlight in the corridor can make the trip easier to manage. Dim lights should be replaced with bright white compact fluorescents (CFLs) or LEDs to promote cleanliness.
Clean Your Bathroom Regularly
Germs are the invisible threats that are always present in your bathroom. Keep all areas of your bathroom clean to aid in the fight against bathroom bacteria. This includes shower heads, faucets and wall tiling, which are often overlooked as potential breeding grounds for bathroom bacteria. You may even get a self-cleaning toilet to do the hard work for you! For further help, we have a guide to help you discover the best cleaning solutions for your restroom.
Install a Handheld or Adjustable Showerhead
Adjustable shower heads allow you to maneuver it where you want it, minimizing your movement in the shower. Changing your old attached shower head for a handheld shower allows you to wash in your bathtub while sitting in a chair and is a fantastic way to make your bathtub safer. Handheld showers can cost around $100, and installation may require the assistance of a handyman, like our team at Valor Home Services.
Install a Walk-in Tub
For the utmost bathroom accessibility, consider a shower or tub remodel. Bathers can simply step into a walk-in tub over the low threshold because the door is close to the floor level. For people with restricted mobility, walk-in baths are offered, while barrier-free showers allow wheelchair users to roll right in. Another option for designing an accessible bathroom is a curbless shower, which has no elevated barrier at all. If you like the idea of a curbless design, talk with a qualified contractor because water can escape if the floor is not appropriately slanted. Installation can cost anything between $2,500 to $10,000. There are numerous solutions available to meet almost any requirement, space, or price.
Control the Water Temperature
Water burns and scalds are a cause of major injuries from newborns to 14-year-olds. Young people have very sensitive skin that can’t handle high temperatures. And while you’re cautious with them around your kitchen, you can’t forget about their bathroom. Set your water heater’s thermostat to 120 degrees F or lower to avoid burns from hot water while bathing. You can also buy kid-friendly alternatives, such as heat-sensitive toys, to assist ensure a safe bath temperature. When in doubt, always check their bath or shower water before letting them enter.
Attach Everything Securely
All towel racks, toilet paper holders, vanities, mirrors, medicine cabinets, grab bars and any shelves or cabinetry should be fitted securely. Nothing should be hanging free or wobbly, especially when it is over a toilet or bath. This limits the chances of these heavy objects from shattering or falling on top of a person. If you notice that you need to replace any of these items, our small projects team can help you replace and secure everything in your restroom.
Invest in a Shower Seat
If replacing your bathtub isn’t in the cards, consider adding a shower or bath seat to your current arrangement. Though they’re generally linked with medical facilities or eldercare, safety chairs are also available in beautiful styles. Check the weight-bearing capacity and look for a model that meets your lifestyle, space constraints and bathroom decor. If you have the extra money or need a complete bathroom or shower remodel, then this is the perfect opportunity to create a built-in shower bench. Just speak with one of our designers or remodelers to figure out your aging-in-place bathroom plan.
There are numerous hidden dangers in the restroom. As a result, thousands of individuals slip and fall in their bathrooms each year, resulting in significant injuries. The main reason is that most surfaces, such as metal, cold tile, and porcelain, can be slippery when wet. Hot water steam can sometimes create dizziness, which can be harmful to anyone with low blood pressure who is at risk of fainting. Furthermore, certain drugs might produce dizziness or hypotension, which can impair mobility. Since many older persons are remaining at home longer as they age, restroom safety is a growing problem. Contact Valor Home Services to discuss bathroom safety and how we can help make your or a loved one’s bathroom as safe as possible.