Don’t Become A Statistic: How To Prevent Bathroom Slips And Falls
Over one million Americans suffer a slip, trip, and fall injury and over 17,000 people die in the U.S. annually because of these injuries, according to the CDC. It is also estimated that 20% to 30% of people who experience a slip and fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as: bruises, hip fractures, or head injuries. Slips and falls are mainly caused by a slippery surface. A vast majority of these falls occur in the bathroom. As a wet and slippery environment the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house. However there are three steps you can take to lower the the risk of falls.
To guarantee safety in and out of the bathtub or shower stall, install reachable grab bars by the bathtub and shower. This is the first and quickest step to increase safety in the bathroom. This should be specialty-designed items that will support weight, as opposed to a towel rack or bar, which can cause further injury if used as a grab bar. One more thing to not forget, make sure to address toilet safety. Slip and fall accidents are a very common cause for brain injuries and account for 46% of fatal falls for older Americans. For people who may have limited mobility, a grab bar can provide a much safer way to get in and out of places such as the bathroom. These bars are primarily used as safety rails for toilets and in showers which aid in stability. Grab bars create a sense of security and improved independence in the home
Shower and Tub Modifications
According to the CDC, over 1.5 million aging adults seek emergency care every year for fall-related injuries. Showers are one of the most at-risk areas to experience such an injury due to the slippery surfaces that come with water. There are a few steps you can take to help prevent slips and falls. A walk-in or zero-barrier shower is an easy way to either take your mobility chair into the shower or avoid losing your balance by stepping over the high edge of a tub. Walk-in tubs provide the same security of not having to make a huge step in but allow you the relaxation of soaking in a tub. Another option is having a lower entry point cut into your standard tub.
Keeping it Clean
Since bathrooms set you up for falls, don’t leave things to chance. Make sure all spills are immediately wiped up and the bathroom floor is not slick from residue. Additionally, don’t let décor stand in your way. Clear away any unnecessary items so that there is plenty of space to move around. Also make sure that any rugs or bath mats are tied securely to the floor to avoid a tripping or fall hazard. For even more safety, cover sharp edges of counters, cabinets and faucets with towels while the bathroom is in use.
Although bathrooms can be a huge safety hazard if you aren’t careful, these tips and products can help keep you or your loved ones safe in their own home. With a few simple additions and adjustments, you can help ensure your bathroom is designed for safety and is easy-to-use. Instead of the most dangerous room in house make the bathroom a safe and relaxing space that lets you stay in your home longer and safer.
Dennis Long is the co-founder and CFO of Next Day Access Charleston. Next Day Access Charleston is full service accessibility company specializing and certified in helping people stay in their home longer and safer.