“There’s no place like home”. This sentiment rings true for most people. But, for many home can also be a danger zone. This is especially true for the elderly, disabled, and young children. Thousands of injuries occur in homes across America each year. In fact more accidents take place within the home than outside of it, with slips and falls being a main culprit. According to the National Safety Council almost 30,000 people died from falls in the home in 2013. Falls are reported as the third highest cause of unintentional injuries among all of the age groups and the number one cause for those over the age of 71.
The bathroom takes first place for the room in the house in which the most injuries occur. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) gives 235,000 as the average number of people who go to the emergency room each year due to a bathroom injury. With June being National Safety Month, it is a good time to review some general bathroom safety tips.
Bathroom Safety Tips
- Have grab bars installed near the toilet and in the tub/shower to aid those who have trouble sitting and standing. You can find various styles of bathroom grab bars to meet your needs on caregiverproducts.com
- Place a mat that won’t slide in the tub or shower to help prevent slips
- Make sure the bathroom floor is not slippery
- Ensure there is a light switch near the door to provide ample lighting. A night light or automatic lighting is excellent for night time trips
- Arrange toilet paper holder so that it can be easily accessed when sitting on the toilet
- A walk in tub or shower can greatly reduce falls
- Drying off in the shower can help prevent slips
- Be aware of the water heater temperature to prevent scalding/burning
- Bathroom doors that are unlockable from the outside can help you get assistance quicker if needed
Following these safety tips along with other precautions can help prevent an ER trip.