January is National Bath Safety Month.
Usually, when we’re talking to our Phoenix customers about their bathroom, it’s about a bathroom repair or remodel. But since January is National Bath Safety Month, we’d like to remind everyone of a few bath safety basics.
Supervise, supervise, supervise! Never leave young children alone in the tub even for a moment. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4 years old, and a child can drown in just a few inches of water, in a matter of seconds. 1 Watch young children closely while they’re in the tub. And, remember to drain the water from the tub immediately when the bath is finished.
While drowning is perhaps the primary bath safety concern, it’s certainly not the only concern. Young children do not have a well-developed sense of balance; to avoid injuries due to falls don’t let them stand up or walk around in the tub. Install a faucet cover to help prevent injuries, and make sure you install slip resistant protection, preferably something that adheres to the bottom of the tub. Use non-skid rugs outside the tub as well, and if the floor around the tub has gotten very wet (we know kids like to splash!) dry the floor before taking the child out of the tub.
If the tub has grab bars and/or towel bars at child height, put a towel over these as a precautionary cushion. And, by the way, grab bars can be a good idea for children. Just be sure they’re installed correctly, and at a correct height, and covered/cushioned to avoid injury. If your tub has shower doors, make sure they are the shatterproof type.
Avoid scalds by keeping your water heater set no higher than 120 degrees, and always test the water before putting a child in the tub. Make sure there are no hazardous items in reach – like razors, medicines or chemicals of any kind (including things like medicated shampoos). Likewise, be sure to keep all electrical devices unplugged and well away from the tub.
And, remember that bath safety includes the toilet area. Keep the lid closed and consider a lid-locking device if you have small children in the home. Make sure children can’t reach perfumes, medicines, sharp objects like razors, etc. Consider installing a childproof lock on the bathroom door to keep unsupervised youngsters out.
Grab bars are a great idea for anyone who might have difficulty getting in and out of the tub. Too many older adults with limited strength or agility, or difficulty with balance, reach for a towel bar to support or steady themselves as they enter or exit the bathtub. Very bad idea! A towel bar is not designed to give support and if it pulls away from the wall an injury can result. We recommend everyone install grab bars in bathtubs and showers. Even the healthiest person might need a steadying support once in awhile. Grab bars can be a big help next to the toilet as well.
Always install slip-resistant protection in the tub, and we recommend this for the shower as well. Keep soap, shampoo and towels in easy reach. Don’t risk slipping and falling by overreaching on a slippery surface. And, use non-slip rugs anywhere you enter/exit a bathtub or shower. In addition, avoid injuries caused by slipping on wet floors by minimizing the amount of water that gets on the floor adjoining both areas. Don’t overfill the tub so water splashes out. Don’t turn the shower on and leave the door open, allowing water to spray onto the floor (yes, some people do that!). If your shower doors leak, have them replaced. And make sure the doors are the shatterproof type.
For the elderly and infirm, if you have a tub/shower combo that can be hard to enter/exit, consider installing a shower only, or a walk-in tub. While this type of bath remodel isn’t inexpensive, your safety is worth it!
Keep the rest of the bathroom safe as well. Bathrooms are full of hard surfaces and sharp corners. Avoid a fall. Don’t leave items on the floor that are a trip hazard, and illuminate the room at night.
Finally, always have a portable phone handy in case of an emergency.
Bath Safety for All.
Everyone – not just children or seniors – should be aware of the need for safety in the bathroom. In recognition of National Bath Safety Month, look around your bathroom and take note of any safety issues that need to be corrected…and do it now!
Give us a call if you have questions, or need any bathroom repairs. We’re here to help.
Stevens Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning