From lingering bacteria to slip-and-fall possibilities and more, your bathroom is one of the more dangerous rooms in your house. Here’s some things to keep in mind to ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy.
What if we told you that there is a room in your house where living things are hiding, ready to hurt you or make you sick… but they’re invisible? Sounds pretty scary, right? Well, this is no ghost story: it’s a reality check about the tremendous amount of germs and bacteria that live in your bathroom.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the more common havens for contamination in your washroom, and what you can do to keep everyone who lives in your house a little bit safer from these risks. As you’ll see, several of these items are particularly dangerous for babies; so, if you’ve got a little one in your house, you’ll want to be extra vigilant.
Yes, bath toys are one of the leading harbingers of infection and disease for children who bathe in your home. We all know and love the classic rubber ducky and think it’s cute, but a recent study showed that almost two-thirds of rubber duck type toys have fungi growing in them. And that adorable thing you do where you squirt water from the duck into your child’s face? You’re possibly contaminating eyes and ears with infectants, so that’s unfortunately something that you should probably avoid unless your bath toy is brand new.
Are you a fan of the good old fashioned bar of soap in your bathroom? Well, we have bad news. Studies show that soap bars are one of the least hygienic cleansing options out there, as bacteria including E.coli can live on the bar for an astonishingly long time. Instead, consider using liquid soaps that stay in an easy-pump dispenser to avoid bacterial growth that occurs on soap bars.
There’s no getting around it: damp towels are an absolute breeding ground for germs, who love just such an atmosphere. It goes without saying that you need to wash your towels frequently, but there’s another thing you may not have realized: you should try to avoid towels at all possible. Never use the same hand or body towels as your guests, who are much more likely to track in foreign germs and nasty bugs to get you sick.
Not all the risks in your bathroom revolve around germs, bacteria, and fungi. There are also acute dangers that you should stay aware of, so let’s take a look at some of those now.
Please recognize that bath seats are not as stable or secure as they might seem — babies can and do shift around in them, and can silently slide down to water level where they can begin to aspirate the bathwater. Of course, it goes without saying that you should never, ever leave a baby unattended for even a split second when they’re in a bath seat, but to be totally safe you should also stay within arms reach of them at all times.
In an effort to combat the germ-related issues we outlined above, most bathrooms are constructed with easily cleanable tile or linoleum rather than carpeting or more absorbent surfacing. That’s a double-edged sword, though, as slick tile results in thousands of slip-and-fall incidents each year — some of which can even be fatal if the fall is awkward enough. Never rush around in your bathroom, even if you’re in a hurry. It’s worth being late to that meeting if it means avoiding cracking your head on a hard surface because you fell in your own shower water.
Another common injury in the bathroom is getting scalded by water that you didn’t realize was as hot as it actually was. This can cause mild or second-degree burns in adults, but it’s particularly dangerous for small children, who are not as resilient and can have serious complications from being scalded by bathwater. Always check the temperature of the water before getting in yourself, and especially before letting a child get in the bath.
The bottom line: being mindful of these common hazards in your home might seem like overkill, but just an ounce of foresight and prevention can avoid injury or illness for you and your loved ones down the line.