It’s bath time! January is National Bath Safety Month. The idea of this annual event is to bring awareness to the potential hazards that are in all of our bathrooms. Believe it or not, the bath can be surprisingly dangerous for us all, but especially children and seniors.
How to Celebrate Bath Safety Month
The best way to celebrate National Bath Safety Month is to familiarize yourself with some of the potential hazards and pitfalls we all face. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
indicates that one in four seniors over the age of 65 will have at least one fall per year. Over half of those falls happen in the bathroom. Furthermore, reports indicate that roughly 43,000 children are injured in slips and falls in bathtubs each year in the United States.
As you can see, the tub and shower are more hazardous than most of us realize. For the rest of this blog post, let’s explore some ways to mitigate this danger for people of all ages.
Don’t Tub for Too Long
First and foremost, let’s talk about tub time. A hot bath can be relaxing but it may also be quite, well, hot
! Just like the dangers of cold water
, hot water can also be hazardous. For one, it can lull you into a false sense of security, allowing you to accidentally doze off. Beyond dozing, extreme temperatures may lead to lightheadedness, which can cause a person to faint. As you can guess, falling unconscious in a bathtub can lead to an accidental drowning.
For this reason, it’s wise to limit the amount of time you or your child spends in the water. Fortunately, this is among the easiest pieces of advice to follow during National Bath Safety Month. Simply set an alarm on your phone to let you know when to get out. Setting separate alarms for ten minute intervals should easily keep you on track.
Drinking and Bathing
Hot water can lull you to sleep… but so can alcohol. Baths in movies and TV are often accompanied by candles and a glass of wine. This may seem enjoyable, but this can also be quite dangerous.
Hot water can intensify the effects of drinking. When combined, alcohol and hot water
can lead to drowsiness and overheating. As you can probably guess, this can have disastrous results. For maximum safety, save the drinks for after the bath.
While we’re talking about candlelit baths, we should mention just for good measure: falling asleep around a bunch of lit candles isn’t safe either!
Manage the Water Level
Next, let’s talk about the water level. It doesn’t take much water for a person to drown. In fact, it’s possible to drown in as little as two-to-three inches of water. Basically, if the water can cover your nose and mouth, it is a potential drowning danger.
For this reason, it’s crucial not to overfill the bath tub. Whether young or old, if your body is submerged, that’s more than enough for a relaxing bath. For small children, the tub should be filled up roughly to their belly button while they are sitting up. For adults and older kids, it is suggested to keep the water level just beneath your shoulders. With proper precaution, this will help to limit potential stumbling or drowning accidents.
Don’t slip in the tub! National Bath Safety Month is as good a time for this reminder as any. There are two easy ways to help here. Just like in a hot tub or a pool
, installing a safety railing can provide some extra stability and grip when entering and exiting the tub. Additionally, purchasing a rubber non-slip mat that adheres to the floor of your tub can add a bit of extra traction. Both of these options work to prevent accidental falls for both younger and older bathers.