“Too many young children are drowning,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Just as with pools, I urge parents and caregivers to childproof their home and constantly supervise young children around bathtubs, bath seats and buckets. Taking extra safety steps at home can help prevent a tragic drowning.”
Drowning is an ever present danger for children around the home and is the leading cause of unintentional deaths among children between the ages of 1 and 4. It can happen in an instant in just a few inches of water. Most cases of children drowning in the home (28%) involve a momentary lapse of supervision. This could be a parent leaving the room for a towel or to answer the door or phone. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a parent or caregiver always be present when children under the age of 4 are near any water source, including the bath tub.
Here are some helpful safety tips for children from the CPSC Website.
Young children do not have the coordination or strength to hold steady if they lose their balance. Use a slip-resistant plastic mat that suctions to the bottom of the tub and make sure the throw rug outside the tub does not slide when stepped on. Consider installing a grab bar for kids to hold onto when stepping in and out of the bath.
Test the temperature.
Always wait until the tub is finished filling up before placing your child in the water, as the temperature can change. Set your home’s water heater to deliver water no hotter than 120 degrees to lower the risk of scalding. If you don’t have control over the heater, you can buy an anti-scald device that attaches to the faucet.
Beware of sharp edges.
Use a rubber cover for the faucet head and drape a towel over metal rails for shower doors when your child is in the bath. Avoid bath toys with hard edges or points that could be hazardous if your child falls onto them.
Adults are also at risk of injury in the bathroom.
The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in your home. According to one report, over 200,000 bathroom slip and fall injuries are reported each year. Many of the surfaces in the bathroom are made of metal, tile or porcelain which can be slippery when wet and has no cushion when a person falls. Older adults are at greater risk of injury because some medications they take can cause dizziness and they may have more limited mobility as well. Since many older adults are now staying at home longer as they age, bathroom safety should be a concern for everyone. It really only takes a few easy to do things to make your bathroom a lot safer. And helping prevent accidents in the bathroom is what January’s National Bath Safety Month is all about.
Here are some helpful safety tips for older adults from the CPSC Website.
Install non-slip strips or use suction mats in the bottom of your bathtub.
Have reachable safety handles for climbing in and out of the tub or shower, and by the toilet as well.
Keep a non-slip rug or mat on the floor at the entry/exit of the shower. Keep a portable phone in your bathroom in case of emergencies.
The folks at Freedom Insurance care about your safety. Taking these simple steps toward preventing accidents in your bathroom could definitely help save a life or debilitating injury, so put them into practice right away as part of National Bathroom Safety Month.