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No More Slip Ups: Preventing Falls On Wet Floors and Bathtubs

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

No More Slip Ups: Preventing Falls On Wet Floors and Bathtubs

Introduction

Slips and falls are a major source of injuries, especially in places like bathrooms and kitchens where wet floors are common. As I get older, preventing falls is becoming more and more of a priority for me. A slip on a wet floor or in the bathtub can lead to broken bones, head injuries, and other serious consequences. In this article, I’ll share tips and strategies I’ve learned to avoid falls on slippery surfaces.

Assessing Causes and Risk Factors

Before looking at solutions, it’s important to understand why falls on wet floors and tubs occur. Here are some of the main causes and risk factors:

Lack of Friction

  • Wet surfaces are very slippery because water reduces friction between your feet and the floor. Less friction makes it easier to lose your footing.

Poor Lighting

  • Low lighting in bathrooms can make it hard to see wet patches and puddles on the floor. Poor visibility increases chances of slipping.

Loose Rugs

  • Bathmats and rugs that slide around on wet floors are tripping hazards. Unsecured rugs are dangerous on slick surfaces.

Clutter

  • Objects left on the floor like towels or personal care items can also cause slips if you step on them. Clutter should be cleared to create a safe path.

Age

  • As we get older, vision, balance, and mobility tend to decline. These changes make it harder to avoid and recover from slips.

Preventing Bathtub and Shower Falls

Falls getting in and out of the tub are very common. Here are some tips to avoid bathtub slips:

Install Grab Bars

  • Grab bars provide stability when stepping in and out of the tub. Properly installed bars can support your weight if you lose your balance.

Use Non-Slip Mat

  • Bathtub mats with suction cups provide extra traction while standing in the tub. Look for textured mats that allow water drainage.

Sit While Showering

  • Using a shower seat or chair allows you to sit while bathing. This lowers your risk of falling. Install a grip bar next to it for support.

Take Your Time

  • Rushing increases chances of slips. Take it slow and steady when entering or exiting. Don’t multitask while showering.

Use Assistive Devices

  • Products like shower steps, grabber tools, and long-handled brushes allow you to bathe safely while seated.

Preventing Slips on Wet Floors

Floors can get very slick from spills, leaks, rain, or after cleaning. Here are some tips for avoiding floor slips:

Clean Up Spills Quickly

  • Immediately wiping up spills and wet patches removes the hazard. Keep towels handy to dry wet floors.

Use Rugs and Mats

  • Placing absorbent, non-slip rugs near sinks, tubs, and other wet areas catches drips while providing traction.

Wear Shoes With Grip

  • Going barefoot or wearing only socks leaves you prone to slips. Wearing shoes with rubber soles improves traction on wet floors.

Improve Lighting

  • Ensure adequate lighting in bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways so you can see wet surfaces. Install night lights.

Install Handrails

  • Handrails on both sides of stairways provide stability if you slip going up or down stairs. Extend rails beyond the top and bottom stairs.

Conclusion

Slips and falls lead to millions of injuries each year. However, there are many effective solutions for avoiding accidents on wet and slippery surfaces like bathtubs and floors. Taking simple precautions like installing grab bars, using non-slip mats, improving lighting, wearing proper footwear, and clearing clutter can significantly reduce your risk. As I get older, maintaining my mobility and independence feels especially important. Implementing these preventive measures gives me greater security and peace of mind.

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