National Bath Safety Month – Safety Tips for All Ages
Bathtime can be one of the most relaxing moments in our busy, stressful lives. The warm water helps us relax and at least one NCBI study found that bathing before going to bed can help improve sleep quality in children and seniors.
However, with its hard, slippery wet surfaces, the bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in your home. Bath safety is must go hand in hand with good hygiene practices.
The CDC estimates that more than 230,000 non-fatal unintentional bathroom injuries in victims aged 15 and older are treated in the ER every year.
Most injuries happened while bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower, and falls caused about 80% of injuries.
The study also concluded that the risk of injury increases as we grow older. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider bath safety for all members of our family regardless of age.
Bath Safety Tips for Infants and Young Children
Keep bath time fun and safe with these bath safety tips.
- Always supervise babies, and children under the age of 5 while bathing
- Test the water temperature before you allow your children to enter it. Scolds are a common bathroom injury in young children
- Have everything ready and handy (towels, shampoo, soap, and toys) so you never have to step away from your children while they are in the bathroom
- Never leave water in the tub after bath time. Always drain the tub as soon as the bathing time is over
- Keep bathroom doors closed when not in use to prevent children from entering the room unsupervised
Bath Safety Tips for Pregnant Women
A warm bath to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy is absolute bliss. There are, however, some safety issues to consider.
- Keep your bath or shower water temperature at 98.6°F. Water temperatures above 100°F will raise your core body temperature, and this can harm your baby
- Skip the bath salts and scented oils when taking a bath while pregnant. These substances can affect the vagina’s acidic balance and increase the risk of developing a yeast infection.
- Install non-slip bathmats or slips in the tub or shower to prevent falls
- Keep your soak time to under an hour to reduce the risk of infection
- If you are feeling dizzy or have trouble keeping your balance, use a shower chair while showering
- Have someone help you in and out of the tub
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Bath Safety Tips for Seniors
As we age our risk of falling increases due to balance issues, frailty, or weakness, and for Alzheimer’s patients, the simple activity of taking a bath or shower can become a dangerous one.
If you care for an older adult, consider these bath safety tips to help prevent falls.
- Reduce the clutter in the bathroom
- Only use non-slip bathroom rugs
- Install grab bars
- Make sure the soap, shampoo, and other items are at arm’s reach
- Add non-slip strips to the shower floor or bathtub
- Make sure the bathroom has plenty of light
- Consider installing a transfer bench to their tub so they can get in and out safely
- Use a shower chair to minimize falls
- When possible have a caregiver assist and supervise bath time
When to Seek Medical Attention
You should go to the nearest Altus ER or Hospital if someone in your family:
- Slipped and fell in the bathroom and hit their head
- Fell and dislocated an arm or shoulder
- Fell and broke a bone
- In the case of drownings or near-drowning
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