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Bathroom slip and fall injuries are preventable, CDC says

In a new release from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the agency reports that over 200,000 people are treated in U.S. emergency rooms every year due to falls in public or private bathrooms. These incidents can lead to serious slip and fall injuries and premises liability lawsuits. However, in its report, the CDC states that bathroom injuries are completely preventable, and gives tips for making bathrooms safer.

According to the CDC report, approximately 234,000 people are treated for bathroom injuries every year. Cuts, scrapes, bruises and other minor injuries are the most common, and about 85 percent of emergency room patients were treated and released. However, people over the age of 85 are more likely to suffer fractures and more serious harm.

In general the number of bathroom slip and fall injuries increased with age. For example, there are an average of 266 injuries per 100,000 people aged 85 years and older, while there are only about 4 injuries per 100,000 people aged 15 to 24 years old.

The majority of the incidents occurred in or around the bathtub or shower and on or near the toilet. Therefore, the CDC recommends installing safety precautions such as non-slip strips in the tub or shower and grab bars outside the tub and near the toilet.

In addition, the CDC says, simply spreading knowledge of the potential for injury in the bathroom will help to decrease the chance of harm. "Increasing awareness of potentially hazardous activities in the bathroom, combined with these simple environmental changes, could benefit all household residents by decreasing the risk for injury," researchers said.

If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.

Source: HealthDay News, "Bathroom Injuries a Little-Known Problem," Steven Reinberg, 9 June 2011

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