The bathroom is where we go to relax and unwind after a long, hard day – it’s also the place we go to freshen up before the day starts, Whether you are soaking in the tub or enjoying a refreshing shower, it may surprise you to know that the bathroom is actually the most dangerous room in the house. In fact, statistics show that around 235,000 people over the age of 15 are admitted to A&E every year with injuries sustained in the bathroom – over one-third of the injuries are as a result of bathing or showering. The most common shower-related injuries are usually caused by slips, trips and falls, and there are a number of things you can do to stay safe in the bathroom.
What are the most common shower-related injuries?
Shower-related injuries (which could also happen when using the bath) can vary from minor injuries to more serious ones and can include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Strains and sprains
- Neck and spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Burns and scalds
- Facial injuries
One of the most common moments for a slip and fall to happen is when you are getting into or out of the bath, or wandering around on a slippery floor with wet feet. Overspill from the bath could also make the floor wet, causing hazardous conditions. According to statistics from the US, falls account for 81% of shower-related injuries, and older adults are particularly at risk. As we age, our bones become more brittle, so a fall could lead to more serious injuries amongst the elderly, such as a hip or ankle fracture.
Other reasons your bathroom might be dangerous
It’s not just shower-related injuries that are a risk in your bathroom though – it turns out that the average bathroom could be host to a whole range of hazards which could cause illness or injury. Chemical cleaners or drain unblockers could cause respiratory problems if used in an unventilated environment, as well as skin conditions such as contact dermatitis, and lye, present in many drain cleaning products, can even cause chemical burns to the skin or seriously damage vision if it gets into your eyes. Children are most at risk of being injured by hazardous chemicals in the bathroom, so it helps to keep these under lock and key or in a cabinet that is not able to be reached by toddlers.
Injured in a public bathroom
Whilst you’re usually to blame for an accident in your own home, what happens if you are injured in a public bathroom? You could slip on a wet floor in the changing room at the gym or suffer burns after using showers at the leisure centre where the water temperature controls are faulty. If you have suffered shower-related injuries in a public place, then you might be able to make a personal injury claim with Accident Advice Helpline. The operator of the establishment where you were injured will normally be held liable and they may be ordered to pay you personal injury compensation. If you have suffered a serious injury such as a broken ankle after a slip or trip in the shower room, you may need to take time off work, and we can help you to claim compensation for your loss of earnings if this has happened to you.
Staying safe in the bathroom
Whether you are using a public shower room or the bathroom at home, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of shower-related injuries from occurring and here are a few tips to help you stay safe.
- Use anti-slip mats in the bath for over-bath showers
- Take extra care on wet or slippery floors
- Use a bath mat or towel as you get out of the bath to try your feet and prevent slipping
- Take extra care climbing into or out of the shower
- Always check the water temperature before getting in to avoid burns or scalds
- Never leave children unattended in the bathroom
- Make sure to rinse the tub if you have been using bath or body oil as this can make the bath slippery
If you have been injured as a result of a bathroom accident in a public place, or if your child has suffered shower-related injuries – for example if they attended swimming classes and they were not properly supervised whilst using the shower facilities, leading to an injury – then you could get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline within three years of your accident to find out if you could make a personal injury claim. A study carried out from 1990 to 2007 revealed that 791,200 bath and shower-related injuries occurred amongst children under the age of 18. 48% of children suffered a facial injury, with 15% suffering head and neck injuries.
Who’s responsible for my accident?
If you have been injured in a public place then the operator of the place in question could be held liable for your injuries and you could make a personal injury claim. It’s not just shower-related injuries that are possible; figures from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) from 2013 show that six people drowned in swimming pools and eight in the bath – children are most at risk of drowning or near-drowning if left unattended in a bathroom, but if you slip and hit your head, it could just as easily happen to you. Another time you may be able to make a personal injury claim is if you (or your child) have suffered burns or scalds from a faulty shower in a public place, such as a leisure centre – you may even be able to make a claim if a faulty shower causes injuries at home. Burns and scalds that are bigger than the size of your hand will need urgent medical treatment to prevent scarring.
Claiming compensation after a shower accident
It’s best to get in touch with Accident Advice Helpline as soon as possible by calling our freephone helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) – you’ll be able to find out if you have a viable personal injury claim and get advice too. We have been helping people claim compensation for over 16 years and during that time we have enjoyed a great track record of success. So if you have sustained injuries in a shower accident, or if a family member has been seriously injured, we can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.