When it comes to slip and fall accidents, there’s no denying Americans have a problem staying on their feet. The National Safety Council estimates the injuries from falls cost the United States around $70 billion per year.
Regardless of where you are, there’s always a risk for injury due to a fall. According to the Department of Labor, slips, trips and falls are the second leading cause of accidental deaths behind vehicles. In the workplace, around 12,000 injuries annually are caused by slips, trips and falls. Twenty five percent of workplace injury claims are due to falls and more than 17 percent of all disabling injuries are caused by falls.
Incidence of falls elevates every 10 years of life and slips and falls are a almost a daily concern for senior citizens. According to data from the National Institute on Aging, more than a third of seniors older than 65 slip and fall each year and 80 percent of those incidents occur in the bathroom. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than 230,000 people aged 15 and up visit emergency rooms every year due to bathroom injuries and 14 percent are hospitalized.
With hard surfaces and plenty of moisture, the bathroom can be a dangerous place if a person isn’t being careful. With that in mind, here are five tips to prevent slip and fall incidents in the bathroom.
- Stop tub slippage: The bathtub is arguably one of the most slippery parts of a bathroom, especially when you’re taking a shower or taking a bath. To prevent slips in the tub, a peel and stick bath mat is a good way to give you some stabilization. An adhesive bath mat or peel and stick bath mat is easy to put down, will stick to the bottom of your tub or shower and will help absorb moisture from the water.
- Get rid of the rug: Despite your best attempts to keep water off the bathroom floor, water still gets on the bathroom floor. A rug is a good way to soak up the moisture, but slippery floor rugs are one of the most common culprits in slip and fall accidents. All it takes is one wrong step and the right amount of moisture to send you flying. To prevent this, try using some safety track tape (try green fluorescent reflective tape or yellow fluorescent reflective tape) to secure a rug or use slip resistant backings to make sure it stays put.
- Dryness is desired: An easy solution to preventing slip and fall accidents in the bathroom is to keep everything as dry as possible. A weighted shower curtain will help to keep water off the floor and it’s always beneficial to have towels nearby to dry wet spots on the floor.
- Use bars or rails: A peel and stick bath mat is a good way to help prevent falls in the shower, but another way to help yourself, especially if you’re a senior citizen is to install a bar or rail in the shower or bath tub. Installing a bar gives you another thing you can use to steady yourself in addition to a peel and stick bath mat. Bars and rails come in many shapes and sizes, so there’s likely something out there to fit your needs. If a bar or rail isn’t your thing, consider using a shower seat as another way to prevent slipping.
- Turn the lights on: Using the bathroom in the daytime is a cinch, but things can get a little bit trickier at nighttime. Another way to prevent bathroom falls is to make sure your bathroom has enough lighting on the inside and outside i.e. the path to the bathroom. Consider installing some kind of lighting in the shower or above the tub as well as another way for you to see potential wet spots and slippery areas.
As refreshing as a hot bath or hot shower can be, it’s important to take your time and not to rush. Rushing is a surefire way to have a slip and fall accident and with moisture, hard surfaces and not much room in a bathroom, the last thing you want is a major injury.