The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Lurking danger: Why your bathroom could be a death trap


Many lives have been lost in bathrooms, including that of former vice president Joseph Murumbi. 

A recent report by America's National Safety Council indicates that at least one person dies every day in the bathroom in the United States.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls in bathrooms are the leading cause of injury and death in adults aged 65 and above. "Many modern bathrooms have dangerous  design elements," Dr Richard Muraga of Family Health Options Kenya says. "There are protruding knobs made of steel, sharp edges made of ceramics and hard tile surfaces. These can easily cause injury or even death if care is not exercised in bathrooms," he warns.

Slippery surfaces in bathrooms can cause falls, which can be fatal if you hit your head or neck on a hard surface.

"Hitting your head on a hard surface can cause concussion. Blood from intracranial bleeding will then press against the brain and eventually cause death. The vertebrae which protect our delicate spine is located in the neck area, and if broken, it may cause total immobility," says the medic.

Dr Muraga advises that architects should come up with proper designs for different rooms in a house. Proper choice and installation of materials is also essential. For instance, in the case of tiles, there are smooth and rough varieties meant for different rooms in a house.

In addition, hygiene must be observed in bathrooms, says Dr Muraga.

Soaps and detergents are the most frequently used products in bathrooms. With time, they build up and form smooth slippery surfaces.

He warns that microbes reproduce and grow in dirty bathrooms. A colony of microbes tend to be slimy and would therefore easily cause the floor to be slippery. Bathrooms must therefore be washed and scrubbed thoroughly.

Besides concussion, Dr Muraga notes that chances of death in bathrooms increase with the possibility of drowning in a bathtub. In rare cases, explains Dr Muraga, tiny bathrooms can become stuffy, especially when using a warm shower. With poor ventilation, the airlessness in the bathroom can make one faint and to fall as a result.

Ideally, it is advisable to always monitor those using the bathroom, especially if they are old. Dr Muraga explains that the old may suffer from arthritis, poor vision, cardiac complications, as well as being prone to losing their bearings and positions. These increase the chances of falls which can be fatal.

Closely observing someone using the bathroom may sound odd, but the doctor says it may save life through quick reaction in case of an accident.

Related Topics


Similar Articles


Recommended Articles