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  • Your Safety Checklist to Keep the Bathroom Baby and Senior-Proof!

    Can kids and older members of the family use the bathroom with ease? Keep these tips in mind.
    by Cielo Anne Calzado .
Your Safety Checklist to Keep the Bathroom Baby and Senior-Proof!
PHOTO BY iStock
  • In most Filipino homes, there’s only one bathroom shared by everyone. Aside from keeping it clean and organized, it’s a must to have a safe space, especially when toddlers and older members of the family are using it, too. 

    How to create a safe bathroom with kids and the elderly in mind

    To get started, you need to use anti-slip mats, install grab bars, and make sure all electrical sockets are covered.

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    Install grab bars

    Older and young members of the family find it difficult to move around the bathroom. Make it easier for them by installing grab bars. According to Alphacare, elders use grab bars as an “anchor when climbing in and out of the shower or bath.” It can also be used as a support to help them maintain balance. It is suggested to have grab bars installed with solid screws to make sure it’s durable and can handle the weight and excessive use.

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    Young ones can find grab bars useful, too. Better Homes & Gardens suggests installing these in the bathtub (if you have one) and in the shower area to aid kids during bath time. Take into consideration the right height for ease of use.

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    Opt for non-slip mats and materials

    It’s a given to use non-slip bath mats inside the bathroom and just outside the door to avoid accidents. As an additional precaution, Better Homes & Gardens suggests adding slip-resistant strips in front of the sink and bathtub as well.

    If you’re revamping the bathroom anytime soon, don’t choose slipper floor finishes to avoid falls and slips. As much as possible, go for the ceramic tiles with matte finish. In a makeover done by interior designer Nikki Audine featured on Real Living, she decided to add a step-up in the bathroom to make it easier for the elderly user to identify the shower area from the toilet area. This is an idea you can consider if you’re working on a compact bathroom.

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    Keep commonly used items easily accessible

    Utilize bins and organizers so you can easily grab what you need when giving your kids a bath. Having organizers come in handy – especially if you’re sharing one bathroom at home. Label each bin or basket properly and keep them near the sink or on a shelf.

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    For the older members of the family, it’s a must to have their essentials within reach, without the need to stretch or bend to get them. Alphacare suggests installing mounted dispensers inside the bathroom or near the shower area. You can also install wall-mounted caddies near the shower.

    Provide a stool or a chair for the elderly

    According to Alphacare, “over-exertion is responsible for causing many injuries. By making sure your loved one can sit while showering, you lower the risk of them becoming so tired they fall. In addition, a shower chair provides stability for elders with difficulty balancing for long periods of time.” Pick a compact chair that can fit in your bathroom. As much as possible, choose a seating piece with a rubber leg cap or one with legs that can be fitted with a rubber cap to make sure it will be stable when in use.

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    Lock all cabinets

    Kids can wonder around the bathroom and won’t keep still during bath time. Their curious minds might lead them to your stash of soap and cleaning supplies. Avoid accidents by storing these in a locked cabinet or an overhead shelf they can’t reach.

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    Invest in outlet covers

    Splashes are inevitable and there are instances when these reach electrical outlets. Avoid electrocution and short circuits by covering these when taking a bath. Curious minds like to stick their hands everywhere and these might cause accidents.

    Unplug appliances when not in use

    Do you keep hair dryers and other similar appliances in the bathroom? An article on Parents suggests, unplugging these when not in use and keeping them out of your little one's reach. “Don't use appliances near a bathtub or sink full of water and keep the toilet lid closed when small appliances are in use," the author adds.

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