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Bathroom Safety

The bathroom is often the most dangerous room in a home. It's a room with hard and often wet slippery flooring furnished with toilets, tubs, showers and sinks made of such unforgiving materials as porcelain, ceramic, chrome and tile. In addition, some of the most lethal medicines and cleaning products in the house are stored in the bathroom cabinets. The bathroom requires extra care and planning to prevent accidents. Bathroom safety is not just a concern for the very young, the very old or the disabled; it should be for everyone. Accidents, injuries and sometimes death can happen to anyone at any age as is clearly outlined in Answers.com under Toilet Injuries. Below are just a few commercial products that are available to enhance the safety, convenience, and comfort of your bathroom.

The Home Safety Council has this to say about 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. The Home Safety Council's Bathroom Safety Tips advises families how to avoid slips and falls, poisoning, burns and drowning dangers in the bathroom and is well worth printing out.

Privacy

It's difficult to talk about, but being honest and open about your limitations in the bathroom is the first step toward enhancing your safety, regaining independence and maintaining an element of privacy. For a fine article on the subject see, "Privacy And Independence In The Bathroom" from the Dynamic Living Newsletter. You can also sign up for a free subscription to their newsletter.

Prescription Drugs

Do not flush prescription drugs down the toilet. (Per the Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health.) Although this was a policy used in the past, new evidence and studies show that prescription drugs are not being completely filtered out when passing through sewer treatment plants. The AP reported in 2008 that minute concentrations of a multitude of drugs has been found in drinking water of millions of people. Damage to marine wildlife and plantlife is also an end product of this. Please take any prescription drugs or medication to your local Household Hazardous Waste Program to be safely disposed of. For more on this topic see "Should You Flush Your Drugs Down the Toilet? The greenest way to get rid of old prescription meds." By Nina Shen Rastogi in Slate, Updated Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009.


~~ Specialty Bathroom Accessories ~~


Tub/shower grabbars

Stratigically placed grabbars in the tub and shower areas are an absolute must for every bathroom. Soap dish handles, towel bars, faucet handles, tub spouts or glass sliding doors are NOT grabbars. Grabbars should be solidly anchored in the wall preferably to a structual member in back of the tile. Grabbars come in every imaginable configuration for every size or shape of bathtub or shower stall. They come in a variety of materials and colors to blend in with your existing faucets and fixtures.

The University of Missouri Extention Service devotes a page to Bathroom Safety for Older People. On it are a number of excellent drawings illustrating the various ways that grabbars should be installed in a bathtub or shower enclosure.



ADA measurements for toilets

ADA Accessibility Guidelines

A 42 inch (1065 mm) minimum length grab bar is required to the side of the water closet spaced 12 inches (305 mm) maximum from the back wall and extending a minimum of 54 inches (1370 mm) from the back wall at a height between 33 and 36 inches (840-915 mm). The toilet paper dispenser shall be mounted at a minimum height of 19 inches (485 mm). The height of water closets shall be 17 in to 19 in (430 mm to 485 mm), measured to the top of the toilet seat (see Fig. 29(b)). Seats shall not be sprung to return to a lifted position. For more details see 4.16 Water Closets of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines



The above toilets meet ADA Guidelines

The DaisyLift

A toilet seat lifter Pretty lady demonstrating DaisyLift
The DaisyLift provides a safe and easy way to raise and lower
a toilet seat, without having to touch it with your hands.
Created out of non-porous, bacteria-resistant porcelain.
The DaisyLift knob prevents bacteria from being transmitted.


Baby Proof Your Home

How to Baby Proof Your Home "How to Baby Proof Your Home" by Lisa Brownlie

An easy-to-read guide which highlights trouble spots before your beloved toddler spots them. Includes a section on basic first aid for choking, burns, electrocution etc. Written in a room-by-room format, this guide encourages parents to see their home through the eyes of their children and offers preventative measures to safeguard them from harm. It also includes sections on safety in the garage and what to do if your child does have an accident.



Baby Proof the Toilet

Gerber Toilet Lid Lock

The Gerber Safety Toilet Lid Lock is easy to install -- the device sticks onto the top of the toilet seat -- mounts easily and securely to the toilet lid with double-sided tape, and resets automatically when the lid is closed, increasing its deterrent value. Should thwart children up to at least age 2½. You just swing a lever to open it. Lid automatically locks again when you shut it. Helps keep curious children, toys and hands out of toilet. Easy to clean, out-of- the-way placement. Easy for adults and older children to use. Gerber Safety Toilet Lid Lock ($4.29). Phone: 800-4GERBER; www.gerber.com.

This little devise might have saved the life of the little girl in London, Kentucky in January 2004. While her mother was in another room, Brianna, a 10-month old who was just learning to crawl, climb and walk managed to climb up on a box near the toilet and fell head first into the toilet bowl and drown. Her 10-year-old brother discovered her and pulled her out of the toilet, but no one was able to revive the little girl.
(The Washington Times, 30 Jan 2004, pg. 8, American Scene)


Lock Up the Drugs and Cleaning Supplies

Lock for Medicine Cabinet Lock for Medicine Cabinet

Consumer Reports tests child-safety products and said about 1 million children accidentally ingest medicines or chemicals each year. Fifty or so die as a result. The special latch on the left will keep tots from opening medicine cabinets with sliding doors. To open, just flatten the curved ends and the front door slides over the lock. When the doors are closed, it locks automatically! Attaches to glass, mirrors or wood with double sided adhesive. Doors must have 3/8" or less between them. (May mar wood when removed.) The latch on the right is used on cabinet knobs and handles. Attaches easily and closes tightly. Slim, non-marring and durable.


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