The bathroom can be a hazardous area of the home if you don’t take precautions. A simple slip on the bathroom floor followed by a fall could possibly land you in the ER with a broken bone or other injury.
Slick, wet tiles, hot water, and slippery tubs are just a few of the hazards in the bathroom. What makes matters worse is that people often stumble into the bathroom at night or in the early morning when they aren’t fully awake. Furthermore, hot water and steam can make you lightheaded. All of these factors are a recipe for falling and slipping, which cause over 80% of bathroom related injuries.
According to the CDC, every year, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from unintentional injuries in the bathroom that result in an ER visit. Data also shows that it happens to people of all ages, although, as you can imagine, older people are at higher risk of getting hurt.
What can you do to make your bathroom safer? There are a few easy DIY tricks that will help you reduce the risk of injury for those who use your bathroom:
1. Install Grab Bars
Grab bars are practical and can easily help reduce slips and falls in key points in the bathroom. Strategically place these around the shower, tub, and toilet for improved safety.
When installing the bars, make sure you locate the studs. Unlike towel racks, grab bars need to be able to support significant weight, so finding the studs is essential. Then, install the bars on an angle and at a height that’s easy for bathroom users to access.
2. Use Non-Slip Mats
Does your bathroom rug bunch up or slide along the floor? It’s time to eliminate this hazard. Use non-slip mats with rubber bottoms. If you have a slippery floor, such as ceramic tile, use these mats in especially slippery spots like the entrance to the shower or tub.
3. Bathtub Transfer Bench
It’s easy to slip and fall when stepping out of the tub. In fact, the most hazardous activities in the bathroom involve bathing, showering and getting out of the tub or shower. During or after bathing and showering, surfaces are wet and slippery, increasing the risk of a fall.
Rather than try to take the ledge on like a hurdle, purchase a special bathtub transfer bench designed to help you slide into or out of the tub. Doubling as a shower seat, these benches allow you to sit on one side of the tub and slide over, swinging your legs over the ledge as you go. No installation is required! All you have to do is place it over your bath’s ledge.
4. Add a Night Light
Reduce the risk of injury at night with a night light. Turn it on before going to bed, or opt for a light that turns on automatically when the big lights are shut off. You might also try a light that works on a timer and program it to turn on during your sleeping hours. That way, whenever nature calls, the bathroom will be sufficiently lit, helping keep you safe.
A trip to the hardware store and a few hours of work can quickly and dramatically improve the safety of your bathroom. It’s well worth the effort when you consider the fact that these simple DIYs will reduce the chances that you’ll have to take a member of your household to the ER for a bathroom-related injury.