The bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, and not just because of germs. Slips and falls on wet surfaces have been found to be one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in the U.S., and bathrooms are the most common places that these accidents take place.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2008, more than 19,700 older adults died after falling accidentally. The falls are the leading cause of death for seniors.

Also, falls are the most common nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma, with the CDC report indicating that 234,000 people aged 15 or older visited the emergency room after sustaining an injury in the bathroom and 14 percent of those needed to be hospitalized to treat their injuries.

So why is the hopper so dangerous?

Well, floors around the tub or shower get wet and thus slippery, resulting in a lack of traction and an easy way to lose balance and tumble. Those cases account for two-thirds of ER visits, making bathing, showering and getting out of the tub a hazardous activity. A little over two percent of injuries occur while getting into the tub, while nearly 10 percent take place while getting out.

Bathrooom-borne injuries increase with age. People over 85 sustain more than half of injuries that happen near toilets, as in getting on or off of them.

The CDC recommends support bars to help elderly people get up and down when using the toilet. Educating family members about the dangers is critical, too.

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