The National Safety Council reports that each year, more than 400 people drown in bath tubs. And that doesn't include many hundreds more who slip or fall and injure themselves while getting into or out of a tub. In general, falling injuries are on the rise, especially for older adults.
These bathtub safety tips suggested by Dynamic Living will help you improve bathtub safety in your home:
Bathtub Safety: if you can stand, but need additional help standing up or sitting in the tub, or getting out of the tub:
- Use a bath tub rail as you enter or leave the tub. There are many different styles that fit over the tub edge without damaging the tub. Be sure to select the right height and grip style to suit your needs.
- Have grab bars professionally installed wherever they are needed. Grab bars come in a variety lengths, textures and styles, and will help you balance as you stand or sit, as well as giving you something to hold if you begin to fall. Please note: a towel bar is not a substitute for a properly installed grab bartowel bars are not designed to hold your weight and are not safe.
- Have a professional install a tension pole between the floor and the ceiling in your bathroom. This will give you additional support in the bathroom as you move around.
Bathtub Safety: If your balance is poor or your legs are weak:
- Purchase a bathtub bench or chair that helps you get into the tub. These products fit over the edge of the tub with legs inside and outside the tub and you sit on the bench and slide across. Once you are in the tub, your body is even with the edge of the tub. Tub benches with back rests provide back support.
- Mechanical bath lifts (powered by batteries or water) will help you lower yourself into the tub. Dynamic Living recommends battery-operated models because they reduce the risk of developing mold in the mechanism. Inflated bath chairs come with an air compressor you can use to inflate them, and they take up less space so they're better for traveling.
Bathtub Safety Tips for Everyone
- No slippery tubs. Install non-slip treads or a bath mat inside the tub. Keep the tub clean to avoid slippery soap scum or mold.
- No slippery floors. Use non-slip bath rubs wherever you walk. A weighted shower curtain will help to ensure that no water leaks onto the floor. If the toilet is near the tub, keep the lid down so you have a safe place to sit if needed.
- Plan plenty of time for your bath or shower; rushing can increase your risk of falling.
- If you feel unsure when taking a bath or shower, ask a friend or family member to stay nearby room in case you need help. Installing a call button or intercom can also help you feel more secure.
If you enjoy baths, there's no reason to avoid them. With a few simple precautions and bathtub safety tools, you can enjoy the restorative properties of a warm bath in your home or even while traveling.