Which room in your house is the most dangerous place? (It is not the kitchen)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year about 235,000 people visit emergency rooms because of injuries suffered in the bathroom, and almost 14 percent are hospitalized.
More than a third of the injuries happen while bathing or showering. A large percentage of falls leading to the injury occur while using the toilet. Sitting down and getting up from the toilet that is not tall enough accounts for one of the top reasons for the bathroom falls.
Bathroom injuries increase and peak with age, the researchers found. Injuries around the tub or shower are very common and as people get older more than half of their injuries occur near the toilet.
The smallest room in your home (your bathroom) is the most dangerous room in the house
CDC examined unintentional, nonfatal bathroom injuries and identified the types of injuries, most common locations within the bathroom, and the precipitating events. Potentially eligible cases were for products associated with bathrooms or whose case narrative included the words “bath,” “shower,” “tub,” “commode,” “toilet,” or “potty chair.”
The bathroom injury rate for women is 72% higher than for men, the analysis found. Studies have shown that women are at higher risk than men for injuries in falls, and the authors speculate that the disparity might also be attributed to differences in physical activity, lower-body strength, bone mass or even more willingness to seek treatment.
Injury rates increased with age, especially those that occurred on or near the toilet that is not tall enough
Injury rates increased with age, especially those that occurred on or near the toilet, which increased from 4.1 per 100,000 among persons aged 15–24 years to 266.6 among persons aged ≥85 years. Injuries occurring in or around the tub or shower also increased markedly, from 49.7 per 100,000 among persons aged 15–24 years to 200.2 among persons aged ≥85 years. Within each 10-year age category, the relative proportion of injuries differed by location within the bathroom. The proportion of injuries in or around the tub or shower was highest among persons aged 15–24 years (84.5%) and lowest among persons aged ≥85 years (38.9%), whereas the proportion of injuries that happened on or near the toilet was lowest among persons aged 15–24 years (7.0%) and highest among persons aged ≥85 years (51.7%).
The most hazardous activities for all ages are bathing, showering and getting out of the tub or shower. (Only 2.2% of injuries occur while getting into the tub or shower, but 9.8% occur while getting out.) Injuries in or near the bathtub or shower account for more than two-thirds of emergency room visits.
Injuries getting on and off the toilet are quite high in people 65 and older. Having a tall 20″ inch convenient height toilet and grab bars by the toilet would be helpful for people in their older years. And everyone would benefit from having grab bars both inside the tub or shower and where you get in and out.
Based on the narrative for each case, two additional variables were coded: the location in the bathroom where the injury occurred (e.g., bathtub, shower, or sink) and the precipitating event (e.g., bathing or showering, slipped, sitting down, or using the toilet that is not tall enough). “Bathing or showering” did not include slipping in the tub or shower; these events were coded as “slipped.” However, events such as “slipped while getting into (or out of) the shower” were coded as “getting into (or out of) the tub or shower” because these activities were considered a priori to be particularly hazardous.
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