Bathing is such a routine activity that we often neglect to take proper precautions while we’re in what is absolutely one of the most dangerous places in our homes. But there are a lot of things we can do to minimize the risk of injury in the bath. And many of these precautions are especially important for the very young and the very old. Safety bars — or grab handles — and nonslip mats inside the tub or shower are just two of the most effective — and most common — ways to stay safe in our soapy havens. Let’s look at a few more — in honor of National Bath Safety Month, which takes place every January.
National Bath Safety Month timeline
Check out this splashy new invention
Englishman William Feetham patents the first mechanical shower, which is operated by a hand pump.
- AD 60
The Romans build a temple complex and baths at Aquae Sulis
Today? Why, we refer to this spot as the English city of Bath.
- 312 BC
Ancient Romans build aqueducts
The Roman Empire constructs its first aqueduct. A few hundred years later, 11 are in place to supply water for public baths.
- 2500 BCE
The Ancients bathe in natural bodies of water,
This includes seas and waterfalls. The Great Bath of Mohenjo-daro in Pakistan is considered one of the earliest public baths in the world.
- 3100 BC
Ancient, relaxing showers (for the wealthy)
Historians report that members of the upper classes in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia had indoor showers, whereby water was toted to a bath area and servants would pour the water directly onto them.
How to Observe National Bath Safety Month
Install no-slip mats in the bath
These are low-cost — but absolutely necessary — additions to the bath. They're a simple solution that helps prevent slips in the tub. And put small no-slip rugs outside the bath, too.
Safety (handles) first
Install a couple of safety handles in the bath and near the toilet to prevent slips and falls and to assist those who need it from entering and exiting the tub or shower. They're also a good idea for helping those who have difficulty standing up from the toilet.
Childproof the bathroom
Make sure items intended for adults — sharp razors, clippers, tweezers — are kept safely stored in the bathroom and away from curious hands of little ones.
5 Facts About Baths That Have Us Bubbling Over
Soaking: Feels good — and it's good for you
Studies show that soaking in a hot bath soothes music aches, lowers blood pressure, and helps us get a good night's sleep.
The sweet truth about hot baths
Some studies seem to indicate that a hot bath can lower blood sugar for type 2 diabetics.
It's a bath bonanza
The Baths of Caracalla in Rome were built in the third century AD and could hold up to 1,600 bathers at once.
Water, water everywhere
Most Americans use between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day — and the average American family uses about 300 gallons.
The National Institute on Aging reports that 80 percent of falls suffered by those aged 65 and older occur in the bathroom.
Why National Bath Safety Month is Important
It reminds us to protect those we love
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports an alarming stat: Drowning remains a leading cause of death — while infants and adults older than 85 most likely to drown in a bathtub.
Knowledge is power
Protecting ourselves and those we love begins by learning the facts. National Bath Safety Month inspires us to seek them out. (And you came to the right place for that!)
Better safe than sorry
It may seem like too much trouble to retrofit the bath in order to protect ourselves and others from what may seem like a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, those sound like famous last words.