January is National Bath Safety Month 2018

January is National Bath Safety Month 2018

The smallest room in your home could pose the biggest risk to you and your loved ones!

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) over 235,000 people over 15 years of age are seen in hospital emergency rooms as a result of injuries sustained in the bathroom with 14% of them being hospitalized. (1)  More women than men are injured and injuries occurring in the shower or bathtub are the most prevalent. Slipping and losing consciousness are the next highest injuries sustained while performing activities in the bathroom.  Those 85 years old and older have the highest occurrence of injuries in the bathroom.

Causes of Injuries over 65

  • Falls (81%)
  • Other Injuries (19%)

Bathroom Injury Rate by Age, Reported by Hospital Emergency Rooms

  • Rate per 100,000

Activity Leading to Injury

  • % of Injury

Injuries by Sex

  • Men 36%
  • Women 64%

Many of the injuries reported above can be prevented by equipping your bathroom with products and tools to help prevent falls and slips.  Even if you don’t have mobility or stability issues you can benefit from these changes.  For a handful of dollars you can help prevent unwanted trips to the emergency room or even  hospital stays for injuries for easy remediation work on the following items.



Estimated Costs

Grab Bars

There are three types of grab bars – fixed, suction and tension.  By far the best grab bar to use are fixed bars, which means they are properly anchored into the supports of your wall AND properly sized and anchored for your bearing weight.  Strategically locate these grab bars around your bathroom, particularly around your toilet and shower or bathtub walls.  This will allow you to steady yourself if you feel weak or are starting to fall.  If you need constant support consider placing them within arms reach of each other for easier navigational support.  You can read more about grab bars in our article Bathroom Bathing Design: 10 Things to Consider-Part I.  It is a must read!

$15 to $50 per grab bar

Bath Chairs or Benches

If you have difficulty standing while bathing or getting in and out of the tub you should consider a bath chair or bath transfer bench.  Shower chairs allow you to safely sit while bathing and those with arms can assist in rising and sitting down.  Bath transfer benches are a great tool that allow you to sit down on the bench while outside the tub, pivot your body to align with the tub, lift your legs into the tub, slide into position, bathe and then reverse the process to safely exit the tub.  We carry both standard and bariatric (for heavier people) bath chairs and standard and bariatric bath transfer benches.

$40 to $150 chairs

$80 to $350 benches

Bath Mats

Never step into a bathtub without a full length bath mat with suction cups that adhere to your bathtub floor or an adequate amount of anti-slip strips securely adhered to your bathtub floor.  Bathtubs are extremely slippery when wet and falls are likely to happen without sufficient protection.

Slipping while exiting the tub or shower is another area where injuries can happen.  To avoid slipping use a anti-slip latex bath mat that will not move around when stepped on.  Make sure you choose one that is large enough for two feet to stand on while drying yourself.  There are many choices in styles and colors to match your decor while providing you a safe bathing option.

$13 to $30


Flooring is a more complicated remediation.  Flooring both in the shower and on the bathroom floor should meet the ADA (American Disabilities Act) definition of anti-slip flooring.  Look for flooring that has a COF (Coefficient of Friction) of .60 or higher.  Generally speaking the more smooth the flooring the more slippery it will be.  Look for flooring that has grooves, raised area or pebbles in design, which would be more anti-slippery in nature and have a COF 0f .60 or above. 

$2 to $20 per tile

Let’s Not Forget Children

According to the National Safety Council and CDC almost 400 children, 1 to 4 years of age, die each year from accidental drownings.  In fact it is the leading cause of death in this age group and the second leading cause of death in children age 5 to 9.  (2)(3)

CDC Leading Cause of Death Age 1 to 4

CDC 2nd Leading Cause of Death 5 to 9

These deaths include drownings from:

  • bathtubs
  • pools
  • buckets
  • toilets

Baby in bathtubMost of these deaths occur from lack of parental supervision.  Young children left alone for just a few minutes can easily drown in a minimum pool of water.  Even children left alone in bathing rings can easily topple over and drown if left alone only for a minute.  How can these deaths be prevented?

  • NEVER leave or turn your back on a young child during bathing or swimming
  • NEVER become distracted during a bathtub activity by phones, television, other people, etc.
  • NEVER leave the child in tub alone to retrieve shampoos, towels, bath rings or toys.  Have them next to the tub before the start of bathing.
  • NEVER assume a bath ring will protect your child.  A bath ring is not a flotation device nor will it support your child if they topple over.
  • NEVER leave any buckets or tubs of water around where a curious child could enter and drown.  Empty them out and place them out of a child’s reach.
  • LEARN basic CPR that could save a child’s life should you encounter a potential drowning situation!

According to the National Safety Council (2) see how fast a bathtub drowning could happen:



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