The Smallest Room in the House Found to Be the Most Dangerous

June 16, 2017 in STSMPT

In horror movies, the most dangerous room in your house is the basement. In real life, you should probably fear your bathroom.

A CDC (Centers for Disease Control) study found that nonfatal injuries among people above the age of 15 were particularly likely to occur in bathrooms, especially among older adults. Two bathroom locations were identified as the most common spots for injuries: around the tub or shower and the toilet. Approximately two-thirds of injuries happened in the tub or shower. Injuries were more likely to occur when people were bathing, showering, or getting out of the tub or shower, not getting in (probably because floors and fixtures were more slippery after a bath.) Approximately 14 percent of injuries occurred while getting up from or sitting down on the toilet—but that percentage rose for people 65 and older, ranging from 19% to 37%.

Approximately 80% of all bathroom injuries were caused by falls, with injuries including contusions or abrasions, sprains or strains, and fractures. Those in the oldest age groups had the highest rates of injury. People over 65 are at increased risk of serious injuries from falling, such as hip fractures, and in the study, the older adults were the ones who were hospitalized most often and had the highest fracture rates.

A few environmental modifications can reduce the risk of bathroom falls. Adding bath mats, nonskid strips, and grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower helps prevent falls, as well as adding grab bars around the toilet. For older adults, consider our physical therapy services. We can assist with fall prevention strategies including exercise plans to improve strength and balance. If you or someone you care for is having difficulties with balance that increase the risk of bathroom injuries, call us today—and make your bathroom a safer place.

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