Bathrooms are also notoriously dangerous. First, there are sharp objects like razors, scissors, tweezers and nail files in use. Slips and falls are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the United States, and bathrooms are enemy No. 1 due to the water involved in bathing and sink use.
Another danger is the many medicines and prescription drugs often kept in bathrooms. This is mainly an issue with small children, who are prone to put just about anything they can get their hands on into their mouths. Never leave any medication where a child can reach it. Be wary of vitamins as well; they often look like candy and can be toxic to children. But you don't have to be a child to make a mistake. Misuse of prescription meds account for almost 1.5 million poisonings each year in the United States [source: Parenthood]. Just like with kitchen accidents, absentmindedness plays a part and you can easily accidentally mix the wrong medications and ingest a dangerous drug cocktail.
Bathroom cleaning products can also pose a danger. Bleach and ammonia are on the list of common cleaners, and if they're mixed together, they can create a deadly gas. They also can irritate the skin and eyes all on their own. You may have a heavy-duty drain cleaner in your bathroom closet to unclog a stubborn sink. That cleaner is heavy-duty in every way -- some contain hydrochloric acid as the active ingredient. Others use sodium hypochlorite, commonly known as bleach, and both can burn the skin on contact. Even the air freshener you have plugged in may have phenol or formaldehyde in it. Phenol in heavy doses can cause convulsions, respiratory problems and even death, and formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. Avoid accidents with children by not keeping any of these products stored in your bathroom, or even better -- make a switch to safe, all-natural cleaning products.
You also can suffer burns from the water in your shower or bath, just like in your kitchen. Set your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) or below to prevent scalding accidents. Another no-brainer is to keep all electrical products away from the bath tub. A shock by dropping a hair dryer into a bathtub is a sure way to severely injure or kill you. Also be cautious of using the hair dryer around a wet sink.
To learn about more dangers and how to keep you safe, head to the next page. Just be careful not to slip!
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- "Accident Statistics." lpch.org, 2009. http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/poison/stats.html
- Fitzgerald, Ed. "Kitchen Safety" ecology.com, July 16, 2008. http://ecology.com/ecology-today/2008/07/16/kitchen-safety/
- "Hasselhoff Injured." sfgate.com, 2006.http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/dailydish/detail?blogid=7&entry_id=6665
- "How to Make Your Bathroom Safe for Everyone." parenthood.com, 2009. http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/how_to_make_your_bathroom_safe_for_everyone.html
- "How to Prevent and Treat At-Home Accidents." medicalnewstoday.com, June 19, 2005.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/26379.php
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- "Scalding / Water Burns." burninjuryonline.com, 2009. http://www.burninjuryonline.com/CM/Custom/SCALDING-INJURIES.asp
- "Slips & Falls: An Evaluation Of Causes and Prevention." issa.com, 2009. http://www.issa.com/data/File/regulatory/Bohm%203.pdf
- "What should I do to make my home as safe as possible for my child?" womenrepublic.co.uk, 2009. http://www.womenrepublic.co.uk/family_pregnancy/home_safe/