Bathroom Safety

The combination of water, medications and electrical appliances make safety precautions in and around the bathroom essential for every family member. Safe storage of supplies, constant adult supervision around water and swift cleaning of slick surfaces should be common practice to help reduce the risk of some of home injuries. Families are advised to follow these steps to help avoid slips and falls, poisoning, burns and drowning dangers:

  • Install grab bars in bath and shower stalls. Don't use towel racks or wall-mounted soap dishes as grab bars; they can easily come loose, causing a fall.

  • Use a non-slip mat or install adhesive safety strips or decals in bathtubs and showers.

  • Keep the bathroom floor clean and promptly wipe up all spills.

  • If you use a bath mat on the floor, choose one that has a non-skid bottom.

  • Avoid using cleaning supplies that may leave a slippery residue.

  • Use nightlights to help light hallways and bathrooms during night-time hours.

  • Make sure that medications, including vitamins, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs, have child-resistant caps.

  • Lock medicines, cosmetics and cleaning supplies in a secure cabinet.

  • Keep medicines and cleaning products in their original containers with the original labels intact.

  • Never leave children unattended near standing water.

  • If you have toddlers, use toilet seat locks and keep bathroom doors closed.

  • Always stay within touch supervision of young children - within an arm's reach -- during bath time. Never allow older children to supervise.

  • Lower water heaters to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less. When bathing children, use a water thermometer to ensure the temperature is safe. Turn the cold water on first, then mix in warmer water and keep the temperature at about 100F.

  • Read and follow product use, storage instructions and safety recommendations for cosmetic, personal care and cleaning products.

  • Never touch an electrical appliance when you are bathing.

  • Make sure electrical appliances, cords and fixtures in your bathroom listed by an independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

  • Make sure all bathrooms are protected by ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI's). Test your GFCI monthly to determine that it is operating properly.

  • Keep small electrical appliances such as hair dryers, curling irons, and razors away from water and unplugged and stored when not in use.

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