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Two age groups are especially susceptible to bathroom injuries. Persons aged 15 to 24 are especially likely to be injured in bathtub or shower. People over the age 85 of age are especially likely to be injured on or around the toilet.

Elderly Most Likely to Be Injured in the Bathroom

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tell us, over 235 thousand Americans are treated in the emergency room for injuries they incur in the bathroom. Over 30 thousand of the injured will have to be hospitalized.
 


Two age groups are especially susceptible to bathroom injuries. Persons aged 15 to 24 are especially likely to be injured in bathtub or shower. People over the age 85 of age are especially likely to be injured on or around the toilet.

In 2008, the most recent year for which data are available, not a single person over the age of 15 drowned in the bathtub. A variety of other kinds of bathroom injuries appears in the CDC report:

  • 81% of bathroom injuries were falls.
  • 9% of bathroom injuries involved overexertion.
  • 6% of bathroom injuries involved being struck by a falling or moving object.
  • A little more than 1% of bathroom injuries involved cutting or piercing.
  • Less than 1% of bathroom injuries involved burns.

In the study most emergency room visits after a bathroom injury, about 31% of all bathroom injuries, involved a head or neck injury. Other injury sites were less common:

  • 20% of bathroom injuries involved the upper trunk.
  • 18% of bathroom injuries involved the lower trunk.
  • 17% of bathroom injuries involved a leg or foot.
  • 13% of bathroom injuries involved an arm or hand.

The rates of bathroom injuries increased with age

  • 58 out of every 100,000 people aged 15 to 24 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 73 out of every 100,000 people aged 25 to 34 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 76 out of every 100,000 people aged 35 to 44 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 70 out of every 100,000 people aged 45 to 54 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 85 out of every 100,000 people aged 55 to 64 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 112 out of every 100,000 people aged 65 to 74 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 214 out of every 100,000 people aged 75 to 84 suffered a bathroom injury.
  • 535 out of every 100,000 people (a little more than 1/2%) of people 85 and over suffered a bathroom injury.
Cuts and scrapes, as well as sprains and strains, were the most common diagnoses in the ER. Only about 10% of bathroom mishaps resulted in internal injuries, and only about 2% resulted in concussions.

The study found that women of all ages were at greater risk of falls in the bathroom than men. The study also found, not surprisingly, that falls were most likely to result in broken bones among people over the age of 65.

In the 15 to 24 age group, falls were the leading injury, and loss of consciousness was the leading cause of falls. A study in New Zealand found that alcohol use was the leading cause of loss of consciousness in household, particularly bathroom, injuries. Up to 20% of injuries among working age adults were linked to alcohol use in the New Zealand study.
Continue reading after recommendations

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Nonfatal Bathroom Injuries Among Persons Aged ≥15 Years --- United States, 2008." Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Report, 11 July 2011.
  • Photo courtesy of summitdesignremodeling on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/summitdesignremodeling/5908159705/

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