According to the National Safety Council, approximately 70 percent of all accidents occurring in the home happen in the bathroom – accounting for nearly 200,000 accidents each year.
While it’s difficult to eliminate risks entirely, you can make your bathroom safer for the whole family by following a few simple steps:
• Choose a textured floor. The splish and splash of taking a bath often leads to slippery surfaces. When choosing flooring for a bathroom, avoid slick surfaces like porcelain and granite, and look for textured choices with better traction. If ceramic is a must, look for certified slip-resistant options. When in doubt, opt for smaller bathroom tiles. The more grout lines, the more resistance your flooring will offer.
• Make it level. You don’t need a large, walk-in shower to get one with a low threshold. As trips can be as dangerous as slips, look for a safe shower pan that is level with the floor, making it easy to step inside.
• Get a grip. Installing grab bars in the shower and next to the tub is a good idea for everyone, but it’s especially important for those looking to stay in their home as they age. Some products, such as the new Decor Assist accessories and Decorative ADA-compliant Grab Bars from Delta, exceed ADA load requirements and come in a variety of designs and finishes to coordinate with any aesthetic.
• Keep kids in mind. Locks for every style of cabinet or drawer are readily available at local hardware stores. If you have small children (or if they visit), remember to lock away medications, small electrical appliances and cleaning supplies. Above all, never leave children unattended in the bath or shower.
• Don’t get burned. Water heater thermostats can be preset up to 140 degrees, a temperature that can easily burn sensitive skin. Reduce the risk of burns by setting your water heater to 120 degrees. For added peace of mind, install a shower system that provides a digital temperature read out. Some shower heads and hand showers, such as the new options from Delta Faucet with Temp2O Technology, indicate the temperature of the water via an LED color indicator, as well as a digital numerical readout, and can be installed within minutes.
No matter what age or stage of life, mishaps can happen to anyone and making a few simple adjustments could make all of the difference for your family’s safety in the bathroom. To learn more about home safety, visit www.NSC.org.