Bathroom bumps and bruises worry US

Only 0.5% of bathroom injuries were fatal, US statistics showed (GETTY IMAGES)

Hundreds of thousands of Americans injure themselves in the bathroom each year, the US government reported on Thursday as part of an effort to raise awareness about washroom hazards.

"Nonfatal, unintentional bathroom injuries" in people age 15 and older were probed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which found that 234,094 people were treated in the emergency room after bathing or using the toilet in 2008.

The riskiest locales were the bathtub or shower. Bathing was identified as the "precipitating event" for injury in 37 per cent of cases, followed by slipping while bathing in 17 per cent of cases.

People who fell while "standing up from, sitting down on, or using the toilet" made up 14 percent of injury cases. Just over five per cent of those injuries resulted in a loss of consciousness.

The top diagnoses were contusion or abrasion (29.3%), strain or sprain (19.6%), and fracture (17.4%), the report said.

Nearly 85% of tub and shower injuries involved young people aged 15-24, while elderly people 85 and older saw more injuries on or near the toilet (51%).

Only 0.5 per cent of bathroom injuries were fatal.

"Bathrooms commonly are believed to be a particularly hazardous location," the CDC said.

Adding non-slip strips to tub floors and grab-handles to walls could cut back on bathroom spills, the CDC said.

"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."

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