Bathtub Safety: Take It Easy!!

Bathtub Safety: Take It Easy!!

By Kevin Cleary

It turns out that slippery surfaces can be dangerous!! Our bathtubs can be a treacherous place to navigate if we don’t do it safely. Sometimes we ignore that our bathrooms are full of porcelain and ceramic tiles that, when exposed to soapy water, might as well be an ice skating rink. Having a healthy respect for your bathtub and its surroundings can go a long way to preventing any fall and a potential serious injury.

 Bathtub Safety: Take It Easy!!

It’s More Dangerous Than You Think!!

When we think about falls and injuries, very often we overlook the biggest culprit: our bathtub and bathroom. According to the CDC, approximately two thirds of accidental injuries occur in the bathtub, shower, or even the toilet. These nonfatal falls tallied 234,094 in 2008. The CDC states that these injuries tend to increase as our age increases, so it’s important to recognize any potential hazard in the bathroom. The biggest issue, potentially, is getting in and out of the bathtub whether from a shower or a bath. In 2013 the CDC reports that falls have a direct medical cost of $34 billion (adjusted for inflation). The CDC report identifies hip fractures and head injuries as the type of injury that falls in the bathroom can create. While these injuries may be more devastating for older people, young people can also be affected and should take care in the bathroom.

What Should I Look Out For?

While we think of our bathrooms as innocuous, safe rooms we need to identify where these dangerous areas are lurking. The majority of our bathrooms have a tile floor which, when wet, can become particularly slippery. The use of bath mats can help us get in and out in a safe manner. The Sponge Bath Mat is ideally suited for exiting the bathtub. It dries in minutes, minimizing the risk of mold or mildew and its antiskid back keeps it from moving on the bathroom floor. It’s also a good idea to install a nonslip surface inside the bathtub itself. The Invacare Extra Large Bubble Bath Mat utilizes 275 suction cups to hold it securely to your bathtub floor and prevents slipping. Another way to cover a long bathtub is the Homecraft Extra Long Bath Mat . It also uses suction cups to hold it in place while creating a secure and comfortable surface to sit or stand on. Entering, standing, or exiting the bathtub might be the most obvious areas for footing problems, let’s not forget about the toilet. Dodgy or wobbly footing can be an issue while standing up from the toilet. Especially in the summer when the air on the outside of the toilet tank can be warm causing condensation to form and drip on the floor creating a hazardous condition. The Posey Sure-Step Cushion Bath Mat is made of soft durable PVC and provides a slip proof surface for the bathroom, including around the toilet area. You can cut or trim it to accommodate whatever area you need to use it in and since it’s impervious to water, oil, grease, and bacteria it is easy to clean.

Grab On!!

When you think of falls, the most common thing that comes to mind is our feet slipping out from underneath us. While this is true, we can minimize any slip or fall by making sure that we have a firm grasp on something with our hands. By mounting hand bars and rails, we can create a safe environment by allowing more than one point of contact to something sturdy. To provide extra security for entering or exiting the tub or standing up from the toilet, the Carex Textured Wall Grab Bars can be installed to each individual’s needs and are finished with a diamond knurled texture for a sure grip. For anyone that needs help rising from a seated position (whether it is from a bathtub or toilet) the Graham-Field Lumex Versa guard Coated Grab Bars Bars can be mounted horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. One of the more dangerous places in the bathroom is the edge of the bathtub. To enter or exit requires one leg to be lifted up and over leaving only one leg to support the bather. Using a bath rail allows them to maintain three points of contact (two hands and one leg) and safely enter or exit the bathtub. Medline Industries offers users the Guardian Bathtub Safety Rail to enhance safety for getting both in and out of the bath or shower. Its white powder coated surface is attractive in all bathrooms and his foam coated so not to mar the surface. For those that might need a little extra added security the Graham-Field Heavy-Duty Bathtub Safety Rail provides two gripping surfaces so the user can get a good grip from any direction.

Don’t Forget about the Toilet!!

Many people need assistance lowering themselves onto the toilet or standing up from it. Believe it or not, many falls happen in and around the commode. The use of handrails can give extra support and safety to commode users. The Drive Two in One Locking Elevated Toilet Seat mounts easily and securely while providing stability for those who have difficulty sitting and standing. Feel free to take it with you when you are traveling since it is lightweight and portable!! Many people might need a safety commode that can be adaptable. The Graham-Field Silver Collection Steel Drop Arm Three in One Commode fits that bill. It can be used as a stand-alone commode with drop arms for simple transfers or can be placed over existing toilets to provide sturdy armrests to help with seating and standing. When searching for products to assist with sitting and standing on the commode, it’s important to find products that are adjustable. The Drive Knock Down Toilet Safety Frame does just that. Its arm height and width is adjustable while its armrests provide comfort and support while sitting and standing. The powder coated aluminum bracket mounts directly to the toilet to maintain stability while positioning and preventing falls. The bathroom can be a dangerous place, but with a little forethought and common sense we can make it a place of safety and security.