Find out about hazards and contact licensed professionals for assistance
What’s the most dangerous place in your home? The kitchen, with its capacity for fires and burns? How about the garage, with its tools and appliances? You may be surprised to find out that bathrooms are actually where most at-home accidents and injuries—and even fatalities—occur. Learn more about what to look out for, and what you can do, to help keep all ages safer in the bathroom.
BATHROOM SAFETY FOR ALL AGES
- Showers and floors—For both children and adults, use nonslip suction mats or rubber decals in the bottom of your tub or shower to prevent falls, and use a nonskid bath mat on the floor for firm footing when entering and exiting the tub or shower. Benches are helpful for older adults so they can safely sit while showering.
- Toilets—Households with young children should install lid locks on all toilets to prevent drowning; homes with older adults should install a toilet-seat raiser to prevent falls.
- Bathtubs—Children should never be left alone in the bathtub, or even when there is water in the bathtub, due to drowning danger, and an adult must always be present, even when older siblings are helping or supervising; grab bars specifically made for bathtub safety, not towel bars or racks, installed around bathtubs provide additional stability for adults getting in and out of the tub.
- Medicine cabinets—With children in the home, any medicines kept in the bathroom should be stored in a locked cabinet, including over-the-counter medications, in their original bottles, which should have childproof caps.
- Countertops—Keep all countertops clear of items such as razors; all electric appliances like curling irons and hair dryers should be kept unplugged when not in use and stored out of the way.
- Faucets and water heaters— To prevent scalding and burns for all ages, set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees and, if you don’t already have one, install single-lever faucets to mix hot and cold water together.
CONTACT A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL FOR ASSISTANCE
Many of these bathroom-safety improvements can be done by anyone for no or low cost. However, if you have questions or need assistance, contact a licensed professional for assistance. Licensees of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Contractors State License Board are happy to help make your home safer; find out more about these professionals at https://cslb.ca.gov, and check a professional’s license at https://search.dca.ca.gov.