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National Bath Safety Month
January is National Bath Safety Month, and we’re here to talk to you about how to make bath time safer for everybody. Bath safety is vitally important, especially when it comes to Seniors and young Children. If you have to take care of one or both, it makes extra sense to take bath safety extra seriously.
For seniors over 65, slips and falls account for approximately 60% of injuries and deaths, of these falls over 80% occur in the bathroom. It goes without saying that bath safety is for everyone no matter their age, and even a bubble bath can be dangerous without proper precautions. Luckily, there are simple measures that we can all take to make bath time fun, relaxing, and most importantly, safe.
Let’s start with the small easy changes that can create a huge difference. The first thing to do is make sure that you’re thoroughly cleaning your tubs. Leftover soap residue, remnants from conditioners, body washes, & shampoos, and even your body's natural oils can make the bathtub slippery and hazardous. Overall increasing the chance for an accident. Cleaning your tub on a regular basis should decrease the chances of a slip.
You can also install non-slip bath mats at the bottom of your tubs and showers. This will create a grippy surface for your feet. This install is done cheaply and creates a large safety impact on a small budget. Just as you put a mat in your tub, put a non-slip bath mat outside of the tub so your wet feet don’t slide and slip on the floor as you exit your bath.
When bathing a small child you should never overfill the tub. Water to the brim might seem like a great idea, but little children can drown in as low as 4 inches of water. Only use as much water as necessary and never leave a child unattended in the bathroom. You should avoid bubble baths. Bubbles certainly make bath time fun, but oftentimes the bubbles will irritate sensitive skin making it red and itchy. Consider using bath toys or washable tub paint as an exciting alternative to keep your little ones attention.
When ensuring the safety of the elderly, we can take some extra precautions in the bathroom. To help ease the transition in and out of the bathtub you can install a grab bar. The extra sturdiness provided by the grab bar will help seniors who might not be able to balance on their own in the shower otherwise. Consider adding a shower bench, along with a hand held shower head so that seniors can wash themselves while safely seated.
The last thing to consider is switching out a basic tub for a walk-in tub. These tubs are easier to get in and out of and have a seat that’s built in. These tubs can be a worthwhile investment for seniors who are serious about Aging-in-Place, and staying independent for longer.
Your local TruBlue can help you make these changes in your home. We are certified to perform Senior Home Maintenance upgrades and installations as well as make recommendations based on your house’s specific needs. We can install grab bars, change your hardware in the bathroom and some TruBlue franchises can even clean your tubs.