The smallest yet most frequently visited room of any house is sounding to be the most dangerous room among all. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has found that around 2,35,000 people above the age of 15 visit emergency hospital rooms due to bathroom accidents. They have also found that these injuries peak among the above 85 age category with falls due to moisture or soapy liquids being the major cause. Also, a surprising fact is that women are 72% more likely to meet with a bathroom accident than men as they have comparatively lesser lower-body strength and bone mass. With these statistics, bathing and getting out of a shower or bathtub has been termed the most hazardous activity. Apart from exercising to improve your lower body strength, it is also vital to make your bathroom elders and kids friendly because accidents might happen to anyone. Here are some little yet effective moves you can make in your bathroom to prevent the number of trips and falls in the bathroom.
COMMON SAFETY MEASURES:
Diminishing eyesight and negligence are found as the most common reason for bathroom accidents among elders. To enable the elders and kids to properly visualize the moisture or soaps, it is highly recommended to install lights at the needed places. Do not go by the myth that one bright light over your head, right from the ceiling can fix all your bathroom lighting problems. These overhead lights often tend to confuse the elders as they cast shadows and create illusions. Thus, apart from installing overhead lights, light up the space around the mirror, inside the bathroom cabinet/vanity, adjacent to the water closets, behind the shower curtains/in the shower area. Also, do not forget to light up the pathway that leads to the bathroom from your bedroom as they are also prone to accidents while returning from the bathroom with wet feet.
The bathroom, the little room where we get in to remove the grime from our body and visit at least 5 to 6 times a day for nature’s call, is termed to be the most comfortable spot for germs to multiply due to the extra moisture present anytime. A study conducted in 2018 also revealed that an average person would spend 2 years in their lifetime cleaning their homes with bathrooms and toilets being the #1 dreaded cleaning chore. To ease this cleaning process and simultaneously stay away from disease-causing germs and bacteria, you can simply install the germ-free patented tiles from H & R Johnson. These patented germ-free tiles use silver ions, which is a natural anti-microbial compound to kill the bacteria or germs when they come in contact with the surface of tiles. These silver ions get activated when germs get in contact, kill and neutralize the germs leaving the tile surface free from viruses and bacteria. The best part of these patented germ-free tiles is that the silver ions are not added as a separate surface on the top of the tiles, rather they are a part of the glaze, making the germ-free property to be permanent and long-lasting. Thus, you can protect yourself and your family from the harmful hidden germs in your bathroom.
As weakening of lower muscles and fragile skin are the by-products of aging, it is extremely important to install anti-skid materials in your bathroom. Even millennials and middle-aged people slip in the bathroom due to other pressure, and distracting thoughts we have while bathing. Kids are always in a hurry and stay in exploration mode, and do not understand the need to be careful in the bathroom. If you are making your bathroom from scratch, we would recommend you install anti-skid or skid-resistant tiles where the surface of the tiles is coated with anti-skid elements. They are a little rough and provide enough friction with the smooth skin, preventing us from falling and slipping. It is better to install these types of tiles on the entire bathroom floor, or at least install them in the shower area, as they are extremely prone to accidents. You must have an anti-slip bath mat near the bathtub as it is the next area prone to falls and near basins/entrances where the moisture goes unnoticed.
ADDITIONAL SAFETY MEASURES FOR ELDERS AND KIDS:
Strategically install these grab bars in places such as near the shower area, above the bathtub, the pathway from the bathroom door to the water closet, adjacent to the water closet, etc. Understand your bathroom style and space, and install only high-quality grab bars that can withstand the pressure and weight of elders.
Separate dry and wet areas:
Indian bathrooms are meant to be moist unless left unattended for days. Whereas, bathrooms in western culture have separate wet and dry areas. Try having a separate wet and dry area while differentiating with a unique colour for easy identification.
The standard height of the water closets and Omni suits is 15 to 19 inches. You can prefer to install a much taller seat or a tankless wall-hung water closet according to your preference to ease elders at your home with knee pain or joint pain.
Placement is Highly Important:
Do not make elders walk from one corner to the other every time to get the soaps, shampoos, and other necessities. Keep everything within the reach or place the cabinet area as close as possible to the shower area.
Invest in Shower chairs or transfer benches:
If you have a separated shower area, you must get a shower chair as the elders might face difficulty in standing for a long time in moist areas. If you have bathtubs installed, it becomes hard for elders to lift their legs to the top of the tub with knee pain, joint pain, and low flexibility. Thus, invest in a transfer bench for them.
Avoid dark colours in your bathroom as they hide the moisture, darken your space making it problematic for elders. Instead, opt for naturally bright coloured wall tiles that light up your space and can even cheer up your kids.
Unplug your electronic appliances:
It is now becoming a little trendy to do the hair and makeup in the bathroom rather than in the bedroom. Thus, you might have some curling irons, straightening tongs, hairdryer, etc. which need an electronic supply. Ensure that these appliances are unplugged and stored in the same way so that it does not induce kids to touch and get burnt.
As a Final Note:
Nothing is worth the safety of your kids and elders. There shall be no compromise over the quality of the materials used. Fix a budget, and get the most efficient product according to it. You can also install an emergency water-proof phone within reach to call if there is an emergency. Also, arrange your bathroom every time and de-clutter it as much as possible so that elders or kids do not hit themselves on those objects. Apart from the materials, even your attention and cleaning play a major role.