January is National Bath Safety Month, which can be an important time for any family. Although you might think that bath safety is common sense, it may surprise you just how many injuries and deaths occur in the bath every day. Creating a safe environment for the whole family can be a crucial area when it comes to your household’s hygiene and ability to relax. You don’t have to spend a small fortune to ensure your bathroom is safe though. Instead, there’s a few simple and cheap tips you can follow to ensure bath time isn’t a cause for distress.
1. Add a Slip Mat
One of the key components to keeping everyone safe during bath times is to add a non-slip mat in the tub. This device comes in many shapes and sizes, so you can customize it to suit your overall needs. One of the most common types of mats offers suction cups that secure to the bottom of the tub, while the top adds extra traction, so children and adults can safely move in and out of the tub. There are many other options though, including smaller pieces that suction cup to the tub to create fun designs that keep you safe. Some of these pieces can even tell you if the water is too hot, which makes them a great option for children. Of course, any items that use suction cups should be pulled up after each use, so they can dry properly. Otherwise, you may be dealing with a mold issue that can cause problems with the health of children and the elderly. If you don’t like this option, there are appliques that can be placed on the bottom of the bathtub to add a bit more traction; however, these aren’t as effective and can diminish over time.
2. Invest in a Thermometer
Scalding is a very common injury in the bathroom, which can lead to permanent physical and psychological damage. You might not think about the temperature of the water often, because for most adults it easy just to feel the water and determine if it is too hot for their body. With children and the elderly, this may not be the case. So, it might be wise to purchase a thermometer designed for the bathtub. This will help you ensure that the water won’t leave your loved one in pain. Of course, you can also help combat this problem by turning your water down to 120 degrees or less. This will cut back on the opportunity your loved one has to be scolded. You should also wait to measure the temperature of the water until the tub is to capacity, as the water temperature can get warmer while the bath is still running.
3. Install Grab Bars
You might not think you need them, but grab bars are one of the best ways to protect yourself when it comes to having a bath. These items allow you to secure yourself, so you won’t have to worry about slipping on the wet surface of the tub. These bars are typically only used for the elderly, but they can really come in handy if you’re feeling sick or if you like to take baths that are excessively hot. Of course, if you do have an elderly loved on in the house then these can be crucial for their care. They can even help out with bathing children as it will give your child something to grab onto when getting out of the tub. These bars are usually inexpensive and easy to install in most showers and bathtubs.
4. Place Non-Skid Mats on the Floor
Of course, one of the most dangerous area in the bathroom isn’t actually the bathtub at all. It is the bathroom floor. The floor is what causes so many problems each year, but there is a simple remedy for it. That is, non-skid mats. So many people place everyday rugs in the bathroom, which do offer some protection, but they can do more harm than they do good. These rugs can slip on a tile floor, which will cause an even harder fall. Your best option is to choose a mat that has a special rubber on the bottom. This will offer a more secure connection to the floor, so you can get in out and of the bathtub with ease. You should consider placing these mats in other areas of the bathroom too, such as under the toilet and in front of the sink. The extra support will make things a little less stressful for those who might have trouble getting up and down or keeping their balance.
5. Clean Bath Toys
Another area you might not consider as needing a little extra concern is your child’s bath toys. Since they go in the bath with your child, many people already believe them to be sanitary especially if they have been left out to dry. However, mold can still grow in these popular toys which can cause a lot of different ailments. You may not even know what is happening with your child until they are so sick they have to be hospitalized. So, it is important to take proper precautions in order to keep these toys clean. One way to do this is to boil the toys every so often. This should kill any mold that is growing. You can also bleach them or follow a more natural method of cleaning. You should always leave them out to dry before putting them back in the tub with your child.
6. Use Faucet Covers
Although the bathtub itself poses one of the biggest dangers, you might also want to be aware that the faucet can also bring injury or death if someone hits their head on it. This is more common in children that tend to play near the faucet. The faucet tends to be more of a danger for minor injuries like head bumps with children, which can cause pain or even a need for stitches. There is a quick solution to this problem though as many companies have developed rubber faucet covers. Often, these come in cute designs that will please your child while making bath time more fun. If you don’t want to spend your money, there are some DIY options that can help you out too.
7. Utilize Bright Lights
Another huge problem with the bathroom is with lighting. Often, bathrooms have dim lights which can cause a problem when it comes to falling asleep in the bathtub. This can lead to drowning, especially when it comes to the elderly. By replacing your lightbulbs to brighter bulbs, you can easily change the dynamic of the bathroom. This allows people to be more alert, so falling asleep is less likely to happen. You can even find energy efficient bulbs that are brighter, which will allow you to save even more money while helping out with the environment.
8. Keep Electronics Away from the Bath
It might seem like common sense, but electrocution has become a larger issue recently. Although many people are aware that they shouldn’t have electronics in the bathtub, many people don’t consider their phone to be such a problem. However, there have been an increase in deaths amongst young adults and teenagers that were charging their phones while using them in the bath. The best way to remedy this problem is to ban electronics in the home. You might have to block plugs to keep some members of the household from using them, but it will help keep the house safer. Luckily, in most houses the plugs are so far away from the tub that electronics can’t reach it; however, you should keep a look out for items that have longer cords.
9. Properly Use Bath Accessories
Another major problem when it comes to the bath is bath accessories. Many people think they can wing it when it comes to these items, which could lead to health problems later on. Essential oils, for starters, can cause skin irritation when you use too much of them. Babies and small children shouldn’t be exposed to some oils too, so make sure you know what you’re using before you commit to putting it in your bath. You should also make sure you’re not allergic to an oil before you place it in a bath too. Other items, like Epsom salts, should be used based on the recommendations on the packaging. These items can dry out the skin or cause rashes if not properly used. In children, bubble baths can lead to rashes or even UTIs if you aren’t careful. You may even want to be careful with bath bombs as some have made it onto a recall list in recent months. So, make sure to follow all of the instructions when you have these items and look for signs of irritation.
10. Always Supervise
One of the most dangerous aspects of the bath is leaving a child or elderly adult unsupervised. This causes so many deaths each year and has left others with permanent disabilities. You might think that shallow water is safe for leaving a child or an elderly loved one with limited mobility, but drownings can even happen in this water. So, it is always best to handle everything you need to before giving someone a bath. This will allow you to keep an eye on the situation so that the unthinkable won’t happen.
National Bath Month is a great time to help learn more about bath safety, so you can ensure your household is under control. These tips will help you know the changes you need to make in order to keep your bathroom a safe space for your loved ones. These ideas should help you save money when it comes to adding safety features to the room too.