Most people are well aware of the hazards an icy sidewalk or wet driveway pose. It is these types of dangers a person will often take extra caution to avoid. What many people may not realize, however, are the potential personal injury risks certain spaces in their own home may present – bathrooms, for example. Bathrooms are one of the most dangerous in-home locations for slip-and-fall accidents. Wet tiles and slippery floors can easily lead to a serious or fatal accident.
Approximately 2.5 million older people are treated in emergency departments per year for fall injuries, and more than 700,000 people are hospitalized each year due to head or hip injuries from a fall, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of these falls occur in the home.
Those most at risk for bathroom slip-and-falls are elderly adults who have difficulty with balance or mobility. Brittle bones, medication side effects, and vision problems can also lead to bathroom accidents. In fact, the CDC states one in three older adults will sustain a fall injury – many of which occur in their own bathroom or home.
Children are also at risk of injury in slip-and-fall accidents in bathrooms. The National Institute of Health reports that of the 51,132 non-fatal bathroom injuries reviewed during one of its studies, 73.8% of the injuries sustained by children under the age of 15 were caused by falls. Injury rates in or around the shower or bathtub occurred at a rate of 65.9 per 100,000 people.
Bathroom Safety Tips
Fortunately, following these safety tips in your own home can help you avoid bathroom slip-and-falls, as well as minimize the risk of injury to yourself and others:
- Get a nightlight for your bathroom so you and your loved ones can see better at night.
- Clean your shower and tub regularly to prevent soap buildup.
- Use liquid soap to reduce the need to bend over to pick up a soap bar.
- Put bath mats outside your shower and tub, as well as in front of sink areas.
- Place non-slip mats, adhesive stickers or anti-slip tape inside your shower and tub to improve traction.
- Add grab bars or rails in and around your shower, bathtub, and toilet.
- Add lighting, if necessary, to improve visibility.
- Remove any items or objects that present a trip and fall hazard.
- Check with your doctor to evaluate your fall risk.
- Review any prescriptions or medications that may cause you to become drowsy or dizzy.
- Exercise often to improve strength and balance.
- Have your vision checked and make sure your eyeglass prescription is correct.
Slip-and-fall accidents often cause bruising, broken bones, cuts, hip injuries, and head injuries. These can leave an individual in pain, physically and emotionally. Depending on the severity of the injuries sustained, a child, adult, or elderly person may have a long and difficult road ahead. By following these basic tips, hopefully you can prevent and avoid bathroom slip-and-fall accidents.
Been Injured in a Bathroom Slip-and-Fall?
If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip-and-fall accident, contact a Missouri personal injury lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe right away to discuss your rights and learn more about your legal options.