10 Common Bathroom Safety Hazards
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Your home should be a comfortable, healthy place. However, it is not always as safe as we think.
According to the CDC, every year around 235,000 people over the age of 15 visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.
Check out our list of 10 common bathroom safety hazards and some bathroom safety products you can buy to make it safer for ourselves and our families.
10 Common Bathroom Safety Hazards
1. Slippery tubs and showers
Over a third of bathroom injuries occur while showering and bathing. While water can make tubs and showers dangerous enough, personal grooming products increase the danger. Whenever we use soap or body wash, shampoo, and hair conditioner, tubs and showers become very slippery. It is easy to have a slip-and-fall accident because of the products we use every day. Invest in some bathtub safety rails to add extra security getting in and out of your bathing areas- a bathroom security pole is another good option. A sturdy shower stool and secure shower benches can also add security inside of the bathing area.
2. Wet floors
Bathroom floors can cause slip-and-fall accidents, too. When we step out of the tub or shower, water drips onto the floor. Unless there is carpet on the floor, the flooring is slippery. It is especially dangerous if the floor is made of old-fashioned linoleum or tile.
Video: Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors
A small rug may look nice in the bathroom, but it can definitely be a safety hazard. Unless the rug has a special backing that stops it from slipping, slip-and-fall accidents can happen. Even when decorative rugs are made for bathrooms, they can still cause safety issues.
There are some electrical appliances that are meant for bathroom use. Blow dryers, curling irons, electric razors, and some dental devices are in this category. Sometimes, plug-in clocks and cell phone chargers can be found in home bathrooms. However, they can all be safety hazards. When they are used around water that can splash, or touched with wet hands, they can cause serious electrical shocks.
5. Hot water
Whether you own your own home and can set your hot water temperature, or only rely on the faucets in an apartment, it is not uncommon to get burned while washing or bathing. It is especially dangerous for elderly persons and young children who react slower to water that is too hot. Whether you are using the sink, shower, or running the tub, water that is over 120 degrees may result in burns.
If your house or apartment building is very old, it probably has lead pipes. An important point, though, was even when construction standards changed, lead solder continued to be used. Lead-free solder was not mandated in the United States until 1986.
While it is not dangerous to bathe or shower in water that has come through lead pipes or lead solder, it is not safe to drink. Although it is especially dangerous for elderly persons, young children, and individuals with compromised immune systems, it is not really safe for anyone. It is also unhealthy to use the water for rinsing your mouth after brushing your teeth.
Moisture in the bathroom can be a safety hazard. If you run your sink, tub, or shower for a period of time, fixtures, some types of flooring, and the walls can become moist. It can be a special problem if the water is too warm, or you do not have proper ventilation in the room.
The reason moisture is hazardous is it can result in mold. Mold can be a serious health risk to everyone in your household. If mold is allowed to grow, it is difficult to remove. Invisible spores can be present on surfaces and in the air. We may touch or inhale spores without realizing they exist.
Chemicals are everywhere, and they pose serious health risks. One example is antibacterial soap. We may think we are getting our hands extra clean, but the additives in these soaps are dangerous. Some of the risks include hormone disruption and allergies.
Air freshener is a second example. When we want the room to smell nice, we liberally spray with a pleasant scent. Unfortunately, some of these sprays have ingredients that are not so nice at all. They can cause itchy eyes, clog your sinuses, irritate your throat, and may even cause cancer.
Many personal grooming products and beauty products are loaded with chemicals. We can even find chemicals in popular kinds of toothpaste. When we wash, brush our teeth, and apply cosmetics, we may not be aware of all the harmful ingredients we are using.
Most of us have many all-natural products around our homes that are both effective and safe for cleaning. As people have become more health-conscious, there are also many reputable manufacturers that make and sell eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Either of these options is better than commercially-made cleaning supplies that have been on the market for decades. Some of these supplies have chemicals that can irritate your skin and eyes, cause headaches or respiratory problems, and increase the risk of cancer.
9. Soap scum
Residue from soap is more than unpleasant to look at, it can also be a safety hazard. Although you may see soap scum in your sink or on the floor, it is most dangerous when it is in the bathtub or shower. It makes the bottom of the shower or bathtub slippery. If you do not have non-slip strips on the bottom, or grab bars on the side, you could have a serious accident. Learn how to clean soap scum and scrub tile grout with a grout cleaner. Our DIY grout cleaning guide can help you figure out some natural cleaning solutions.
Small children can fall when getting on and off the toilet, but it is also a common cause of bathroom injuries in elderly persons. Toilet-related accidents account for over half of the injuries in persons who are over 85 years of age. For younger adults and teenagers, over 14 percent of bathroom accidents occur near their toilets.
Older persons have the highest risk of injuries in their bathrooms. This does not mean anyone is immune to risks. Many people need to visit Emergency Rooms, and some are even hospitalized. This does not even count the individuals who develop long-term health issues such as allergies and cancer.
When we take steps to address these 10 common bathroom safety hazards, we can all make our homes safe and healthy for ourselves and our loved ones. Consider installing a toilet safety rail to make your waste area safer to use. Toilet safety rail installation is pretty easy to do! A toilet cushion seat riser can help make it easier to settle onto the toilet- and installing a riser isn’t hard to do.