Jan
19

Bathroom Safety Month: Bathtubs and Beyond

By

January is Bathroom Safety Month! This may not seem like the most exciting or important observance, especially compared to widely celebrated holidays like World Toilet Day. However, the Professor recently read some very sobering statistics that should make anyone reevaluate the importance of investing in home furnishings and fixtures designed to help keep seniors safe and steady, especially in the bathroom. A few examples:

  • 70% of home accidents occur in the bathroom
  • Every 2.3 seconds, an adult aged 65 or older suffers a fall
  • 40% of those hospitalized from hip fractures do not return home

Whether you are making arrangements to have an aging parent move into your home or simply wish to plan ahead to grow older independently in your own home, incorporating universal design features into your home can be a wise idea. Fortunately, there are many ways to help prevent slips and falls, even while maintaining a stylish and luxurious bathroom.

One task that can be especially dangerous for older adults – and anyone with limited mobility, such as after an injury – is getting in and out of the bathtub. According to a recent report submitted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 370 Americans suffer bathtub or shower-related injuries every day.

An increasingly popular solution to this issue is to upgrade to a walk-in bath. Modern walk-in tubs are attractive and available with luxury options like air bath and whirlpool features. The Professor is also impressed by the special Quick Drain option available on American Standard’s line of walk-in baths that drains water from the tub in less than 2 minutes, so there’s no need for a long, cold wait before exiting the tub.

Other smart safety choices in the bathroom include lavatory faucets with lever handles and/or a single-control function that are easier to operate than other designs. A taller toilet (with a base that measures approx. 16 1/2 inches high instead of the standard 15 inches) will be more comfortable for everyone in the family to use, and also a safer option for seniors.

Ready to start making your bathroom a safer, more comfortable place to be? The Professor is pleased to offer the chance to win a single-control JADO Hatteras faucet to help you do just that. The stylish faucet meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and is also WaterSense-certified. For your chance to win, just answer the following questions in the comments. The Professor will choose his favorite response on 2/3/12 as the winner.

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

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25 Comments

1

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
With the kid, we went out together and picked out some really cute stick ons for the bottom of the tub and a special bath mat. She was beyond excited and it makes bathtime that much more safe.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?
It may look silly, but the kids bath mats with the suction cups seriously do wonders. Or the little traction stickers you can buy for the bottom of your tub. Love them!

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?
Our dishwasher is elevated. Meaning you don’t have to bend down to fill or unload it. Moving it up 7 inches from the floor has done wonders for my back.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?
Drawer locks, bath mats! My favourite though are tub stickers.

2

1. we use bath rugs outside the bathtub & shower, and a non-skid bathmat in the tub/shower. we also had an elderly person living with us & would use a shower chair for him to sit so he would not have to stand. it worked very well and was safe.

2. we use a non-skid bathmat – also i have lived in dorms & stayed in hostels b4 so i used flip-flops which worked very well & had the added plus of not letting my feet touch the community shower floor.

3. we had installed a safety bar in my grandfather’s bathtub to allow him to get in & out. as it turns out the bar is very convenient for everyone. it helps me balance when shaving my legs, and also you can put your washcloth there to dry.

4. to baby-proof a shower i keep the shower door closed, or i would use a safety latch. our shower area is in a room separate from the main bathroom area, so it’s easy to shut the door for safety. we also installed a drain cover. it’s much better at preventing clogs down the drain. it only cost $3.00 – it’s much better than just a regular hair catch.

3

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

~ I removed my rugs! They are a tripping hazard! So I just got rid of them completely so I wouldn’t have to worry!

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

~ We place a “memory foam” mat on the floor when we bath/shower. Previously, we were using a bath towel but the floor would still be wet underneath. These bath mats are fabulous and keep the floor DRY and slip free! For in the tub, we have our toddler sit on a foam baby bath cushion. This way he doesn’t slip. He was trying to climb out of the baby seat so we switched to this and he has enough freedom that he likes it!

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

~We removed some walls and opened up more space to make it more “travel” friendly. We removed our “peninsula” from the kitchen as well and installed an island so it’s easier to get around too. We have just recently (couple months ago) offered to move my in-laws in because my father-in-laws health is deteriorating rapidly so if they take us up on that, we will have to also install a ramp and possible a walk-in shower or tub. I imagine we will have a consult with the social worker and see what they suggest we need/do.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

~We’ve found that the best thing to do is KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED! LOL. If we forget, the toilet paper or kleenex box keeps our little one busy till we find him! However, we don’t keep anything in ANY of the cuboards or drawers that the kids can reach that would be harmful. Our soaps/ shampoos are kept up high in the tall cupboard. My favorite kid friendly safety device is probably our walk-through gate! We also have a tub “spout” cover so nobody gets any head bumps in the tub too!

4

Q: What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

A:I use non-skid bath mats and use hand grips/ hand rails near the toilet and and in the shower. Also, I have a safety stool in the shower.

Q: What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

A:Suction cup bath mats tend to get slippery, I have a textured surface that was designed into the shower base. No slips in my shower!

Q: What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

A: When designing my bathrooms, I chose neutral colors that will keep the rooms looking timeless.

Q: Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

A: Toddler age children, or crawlers and walkers, could injure themselves in bathrooms and it could potentially cause a life-threatening injury. It is important to use safety devices on outlets, cabinets, toilets, shower doors, entry doors and shower curtains.

5

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use? Well, the bathroom is on the main floor, with the higher level of toilet for the elderly members of the family, along with lever handles on the sink, for ease of turning on and off. We will have a grab bar installed in our tub along with the non-slip tub mat. Our tub does have the roughened surface on the bottom and I keep it free of soap film to keep it non-slip.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor? Our tub does have the roughened surface on the bottom and I keep it free of soap film to keep it non-slip. We also have a non-slip rug in from of the tub, with our pedestal sink close by for support, as needed.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”? We have most of what we need all on the main floor, with the exception of the laundry room. We will be moving that to the main floor, to help as we age.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices? A cupboard latch for the bathroom linen closet and removal of all cleaning products from that closet, first of all and then the non-slip mat in the tub and a spout cover to prevent the head bumps that can happen.

6

Great products

7

. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
Using the grab bars that stealth as towel and hand towel bars! Kids pull towel bars out of the wall. My son, Sean, is disabled and has no balance since a head injury from an automobile in 1996 at the age of 15. Towel bars that are really grab bars serve two functions and don’t make the bathroom look like a hospital!

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?
We use a small shower chair and tub hand rail that is hidden behind the shower curtain. Sean can get in by holding the handrail and sit while he showers!

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?
I installed a one piece toilet so that people with little or no balance don’t break the tank away from the base! It is very sturdy and no plumber calls! We also added a handrail to the hall going into the bathroom that looks like wainscotting! It is elegant but will enable anyone who can walk at all to get to the bathroom without the old walker. Saves damage on the walls and doorways. We also enlarged the bathroom door so that a walker can get through it.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?
Best thing out is a temperature controlled shower faucet! The temperature can be set to the perfect temperature. No child or handicapped person can get scalded! Latches on cabinets AND TOILET SEATS are critical. A toddler can drown in a toilet in a very short amount of time. Plugs in tubs that must be manipulated to close are a great tool too!

8

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use? I remember my childhood bath having anti-slip grip decals…and so the tradition continues.
2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor? i love those new memory foam bath mats. Their rubber backing grips well on the tile floor, offering cushy but secure footing as you step out of the tub.
3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”? Better lighting, streamlining the storage and layout of items used on a daily basis for easier access.
4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices? Locking toilet seat. Scald proof faucets. Outlet covers.

9

Some great ideas for children and elderly.

10
Elizabeth Marroquin
January 24th, 2012 at 1:47 pm

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

Installation of hand rails near/in the tub, toilet and shower for small kids and elderly and a tub insert with built in bench for the elderly. Non slip flooring and a tub with non slip finish on the bottom. I would also install the shower system kit for better control and less water consumption. Getting rid of any sharp corners is a good idea, so selecting fixtures with smooth or rounded edges might reduce injury.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

Use of shower slippers helps keep a grip on wet floors. Also installation of non slip flooring mats like the ones you see in garages or children’s play areas..except now thy come in all different colors. Install the shower system with the hand rail for folks who like to hold on to a rail while they shower.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

Install a walk in whirlpool tub. That would be the best! I also like the lever handled faucets because it would be easier for arthritic hands to turn or pull a lever instead of a grasping and turning a knob.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

A baby shouldn’t be in the bathroom without parental supervision but if they are able to walk about these are some of the ideas I would do. Take out the lower cabinets. Like in the bathroom, remove the vanity type cabinet and install a pedestal sink. Using a Toilet lid lock will keep the kids out and keep toys and jewelry from going down the drain. I think the flat panel fun bath is really a great idea. Its tall enough that small children won’t try to get in by themselves and it has a hand rail if they stand up in the tub. I like that it is removable, too. Of course, installing cabinet door latches helps too. Accidents happen when you can[‘t see where you are going, so little ones usually can’t reach the light switch, so I’d install a second light switch a little lower.

11

GREAT PRODUCTS

12

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
Have replaced my Dads bathtub with a walk in shower that has incorporated seating and shower bar, no ledge but gently sloped floor for drain, secure shower stand for bath items, handheld showerwand, temp controlled water via tankless water heater for bathroom, and a elevated toilet seat with handles so that it is height appropriate.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?
Non-slip bath mat in shower and carpet tiles on the bath floor that can be removed for cleaning then reinstalled or replaced as needed.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?
Will eventually use my Dads bath but now have upgraded the other bathtub with ledge for seating, carpet tiles, both baths are water connected to the same temp controlled tankless water heater. Both baths have been remodeled to give more room (For walkers, wheel-chairs, etc.) and more easily accessible mid-level towel and necessity storage necessity storage.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?
Motion activated lighting, safety handles on the exterior of the doors and passage knob on the doors rather than locking knob, soft closing toilet seat and high-efficiency toilets that have very low water volume in bowl, safety catches on bath cabinets, use only “Green” biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners and keep cleaning supplies in a central cabinet that is not accessible to children.

13

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

We’ve child-proofed the bathroom cabinet. We installed 2 small screws on the inside of both doors and hooked a rubber band between them. The toddler can’t open the doors to get to the cleaning chemicals now.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

The rubber liner for kitchen drawers also works well for non-slip bathmats or under rugs to keep them from sliding. We also bathe children with the buddy system – an older sibling is always there in the tub to watch out for the younger one.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

We’ve upgraded to taller toilets. We’ve added hand rails to all stair cases. We’ve also upgraded the appliances, include AC, so that a swamp cooler and climbing on the roof are not necessary.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

See 1 and 2 above. Also, high shelves help a lot to keep hair spray/chemicals out of reach of the kids. We use a hair dryer daily and keep it plugged it (to a GFCI outlet). Now we set it on a high shelf so that a child can’t drop it into a full sink.

14

What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use? I remember my childhood bath having anti-slip grip decals…and so the tradition continues.

15

Some creative ways to gear up the bathroom is the clear all the clutter away and focus on minimalism. Less becomes more. To prevent slips and falls I suggest using carpet in the bathroom and non slip rugs. If I get a nice walk in tub it would be an awesome way to grow and “age in place”. I have no kids so I cannot really kid safe my place but common sense would say to keep clorox and dangerous things out of kids reach.

16

American Standard products hold up well in are plumbing lab at the Pennsylvania College of Technology.

17

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

A: Keep towels, clothing and other objects off of the floor to protect against tripping. Check the hot water temperature at the faucet and keep it 110 degrees or lower. Place hand drying towels in an easy to reach spot. Use reinforcements on the wall to prevent shower rod from pulling down easily. Place hook on the wall near tub to hang towels, clothing or place shower curtain out of the way.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

A: Add a suction cup mat to the bottom of a slippery tub. In a pinch a towel placed on the bottom of the tub during filling can help with just enough needed traction. Use flooring with a more rough texture like grouted unpolished tile. Wipe up water spills on the floor. Always find a hand hold to steady oneself.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

A: We haven’t made any changes yet so that we can “age in place”. However, we have changed a three gallon per use round toilet to a water efficient elongated bowl toilet.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

A: The best safety measure I have used with my babies and young children is supervision. I train my children about everything in the bathroom and how each item works. Always ask for help. I have taken my young child with me into the bathroom and set them on the floor to watch as I use the different things in the bathroom. For instance, I show them how to turn on the cold water at the sink, then they feel the water and say “cold”. Then we do the same with hot. When my youngster can sit up on their own I put them on their own potty while I use the toilet. Then when they are bigger they can use the toilet equipped with a child size seat integrated into the lid and a stool on the floor to easily climb up. (These are the most favorite kid-friendly safety devices in my bathroom.) I always stay with them in the room, it can make a fun time of conversation! My child was out of diapers and using the toilet with supervision at 18 months old!

18

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

A: When my children were young, we didn’t want the hospital look, so we used large industrial door pulls for grab bars and fun colored non-slip tile for the floor.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

A: On my list is to replace myMmy tub! It would have a slip resistant floor already there…got to love Americn Standard products!

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

A: It was designed to be birth to grave, all on one floor, and with a very open floor plan…the kids loved riding trikes inside when they were small and now that they are grown and I am older, I love the fact that I can walk circles in the house! The bathroom is accessible from the master and the hall.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

A: Teach them how to use the bathroom fixtures and what they do. Kids love to learn and if they know what they can and can’t do…well there you have a very safe environment.

19

. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?

For children stick on grips for the tub is pretty standard but to make it creative I I let them choose and for them I placed some on the edge so that when they reach to climb out hands will not slip either. For the elderly installed safety bars much like you see in handicapped areas with the stick grips attached around bars.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor? See above for the tub, for the floor I use textured rugs attached to the side of the enclosure with velcro stips making switching out easier.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”? Replaced standard faucets with ones that can be turned on by moving levels up or down not twisted. Arthritic hands and fingers have a tough time with the “round” ones.

4. Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices? Never store cleaners below your eye level, safety latches on all doors on cabinets and toilet lid. But the best baby proofing is to be with them in the bathroom and keep the door closed and a child proof “collar” for the door knob. Favorite kid friendly safety device would be the “collars” for the door knobs.

20

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
Electrical outlets are not near the sink or bathtub

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?

We have a bath mat in the tub and a nonslip bath rug outside the tub.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?

we added railings to our cellar stairs and installed outdoor lighting at key points in our yard and walkway.

4.Thinking of safety with the other end of the age spectrum, what are the best ways to baby-proof a bathroom? What are your favorite kid-friendly safety devices?

Make sure all medication containers are child proof and out of reach and store cleaning products out of reach or locked cabinet. I like door alarms, so you know if your toddler has gone outside or down in the cellar.

21

1. What are some creative ways you gear up your bathroom to be a safe place for children and the elderly to use?
Plenty big enough to move around but easy to reach for things you need.

2. What creative remedies have you found to protect against falls on a slippery tub or floor?
Rubber backed rugs.

3. What are some changes you have made to your home that will allow you to “age in place”?
There is a full functioning bathroom on the first floor that is next to a room that could be a bedroom.

22

1. When my elderly mother lived with us, she used a walker, so we made sure door and bathroom was large enough for her to easily get in and out; put in grab bars beside tub to get into the tub and on wall inside tub area at angle for ease of reach to get out – and these have remained in place and very convenient and safe for both myself to use when bending over tub to wash my grandchildren and for them to grab to get out of tub safely. Also used a portable seat for mother in tub.
2. The kitchen cupboard liners are a great non-slip grip for the tub (and easy to wash and keep clean (one of my must-haves and why I am not a fan of the other suction cup mats – and if I could, I would put in a tub that has that non-slip surface already on it for all those reasons)- and non-skid mats outside.
3. We live in a one-level home so it is already ready for aging in place and because of the size of our lot, we were able to add approx. 500-sq.-ft. addition to the house for a ‘granny suite’ for my mother – combo living/kitchen, a bedroom and a full bath. It is attached to our house, has a sliding patior door to outside, so she had independence, but was still close enough to care for…and now it is a combination studio for me and playroom for craft making, etc. for me and my grandchildren. Who knows, it may end up being where we live when we are even older, with our kids in the main house!
4. Baby-proofing is being with them all the time and making bath time fun time – with water toys and games. We utilize all the safety features such as no products, chemicals, drugs, etc. in cupboards that are accessible, locks on cupboard doors, potty seats and stools, etc.

23

Hi Mary Dillon, after reviewing all of the creative comments, I am happy to announce that your bathroom safety tips earned you the JADO Hatteras Single-Control Lavatory Luxury faucet. We hope this product will make a welcome addition to your home and make your bathroom safer. Congrats to you and we will contact you shortly. – Professor Toilet

24

had a very good idea, especially for the elderly

25

Hello Frndz…..
Your blog has always been a good source for me to get quality tips on blogging. Thanks once again.

by GTA Restoration | Water Damage Restoration.

http://www.gtarestoration.com

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