Each year, thousands of accidents related to slips and falls in the bathroom occur and reports show that it could be fatal. In the United States alone, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that about 370 people of all ages suffer from these injuries each day. The National Institute on Aging reports that 80 percent of falls occurring in the bathroom are suffered by those aged 65 and older.
Taking a bath is such a routine activity that we typically neglect to take proper precautions while we’re in what is absolutely one of the most hazardous places in our homes. How could something that’s so comforting and soothing like a nice, warm bath be high-risk especially to young children and the elderly?
Looks like there's more to a relaxing soak than a CBD bath bomb and a glass of red. So in honor of National Bath Safety Month which takes place every January, this blog will give you some tips to minimize the risk of injury in the bath and help you prepare for a safe soak:
1. Use slip-resistant strips or mats on the floor of the bathtub or shower
Slippery surfaces can create the perfect storm for a fall. That's why bath mats are absolute necessities in the bathroom to add traction to slick surfaces and help prevent slips. Bath mats are also helpful when getting out of the tub as you’ll be adding a base for your feet to grip onto which will make exiting safer. You might want to put a small non-slip mat outside the tub too when exiting the tub to be extra safe.
Kahuna Grip Mats feature adhesive backing that seals on tight, yet peels off so easily for a no residue, no film installation. Normal bath mats grow bacteria and mold but Kahuna Grip is like a transparent shield that never discolors and repels mold and bacteria. It’s the perfect bath mat for bathtubs, walk in tubs, jacuzzi’s, pools or any place that gets wet.
2. Add grab bars or safety handles
Provide something to grab on by installing safety handles in the bath and near the toilet to assist when entering and exiting the tub or shower.
Glacier Bay’s Bathtub Rail Safety Grab Bar provides a solid source of support for anyone who enjoys a pop in the tub but suffers with weak balance or strength. It features a wide contact area to disperse weight evenly.
3. Install a shower seat
Providing a bath chair such as Drive Medical’s Adjustable Height Bath Stool lets you enjoy lathering up and shaving while sitting down rather than having to lean against the wall or balance on one leg which can all be too risky.
4. Check the temperature of your water
As a rule of thumb, the standard temperature is 120°F or less to avoid scalding risks, However, bath water temperature for bathing young children should be around 100°F. The bathroom should also stay nice and toasty, too.
5. Keep hazardous objects safely stored
Sharp razors, clippers, tweezers and scissors must be safely stored away in a drawer or cabinet with a safety latch.
Hazards for curious children such as medications, chemicals, and cleaning materials must be safely out of reach too. You can keep these items in taller cabinets with safety latches to lower the risk of them falling into inquisitive hands.
6. Install non-skid flooring for your bathroom
If you want to get more invested (and why shouldn’t you be), you may want to consider giving your bathroom a major overhaul with non-skid bathroom flooring if your bathroom doesn’t have this. Every part of the bathroom’s base floor, including the shower and standing areas, must have non-slip materials installed. The market is ripe with a large variety of non-slip bathroom flooring options from vinyl to bamboo so there are a lot to choose from that will match your preferred bathroom aesthetics. For the safest bathroom options, check out this list from Floor Crafters.
7. Clean up after a bath bomb bath
Bath bombs are amazing for self-care when the stress meter has gone into the red. These balls of bliss are designed to experience luxury in the comfort of your own tub by creating a spa-like bath environment and enveloping your body with moisturizing oils and nourishing emollients that keep your skin glowing. However, bath bomb baths may leave remnants of those beneficial oils and butters that stick to the bathtub, leaving a slippery surface.
To clean a bath bomb mess, fill the bath with warm water and add a few tablespoons of dish detergent to dissolve the oils. You can leave to soak overnight then rinse in the morning to make it sparkling clean and safe for the next person to use.
If you’d rather do a quick clean, you can add the mixture of water and dish detergent into a spray bottle, apply it to the area, leave it for 5-10 minutes then scrub the residue off with a brush.
8. Prevent water spills with shower curtains and tub guards
Be cautious of the dangers that come with wet floors. Hanging towels near bathing areas and placing racks for hand towels within arm’s reach of the sink can minimize spread of water but you may also want to consider installing weighted shower curtains that keep floors dry by helping contain water.
For extra safety, install splash guards in your bathtub to eliminate spillovers and keep water from escaping around the ends that a shower curtain typically can’t handle.
9. Keep your bathroom well-lit
Injury may arise with those late night ventures to the bathroom. Wandering through the dark while half awake is only going to increase the chances of tripping or slipping. Avoid stumbles and falls in the dark by investing in extra lighting such as a night light plug or LED nightlights to keep bathrooms well-lit at all times.
10. Install ground-fault circuit interrupter
As we all may know, water and electricity don’t mix! To safeguard against electric shock, the 2014 National Electric Code mandates installation of GFCIs where electrical circuits may accidentally come into contact with water in areas of the house, like the bathroom.
At Tub Therapy, we’re all about sharing the love of a good, regular soak as much as we advocate for keeping your soapy haven safe for you and your loved ones. Drawing the best bath doesn’t only involve creating a spa-like experience with CBD bath bombs and scented candles but taking necessary safety precautions to prevent injuries in the bath. Knowing that you can climb in and out of the tub without worrying of tumbles and falls allow you to go right into relaxation mode and use this precious time as a refuge to clear your mind.