Think the kitchen, with its sharp utensils and hot stove, cause the most household injuries? Wrong. It's the bathroom, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2008, nearly 22 million Americans age 15 and older were injured in the bathroom, with nearly 235,000 treated in emergency rooms.
Unfortunately, the bathroom was especially treacherous for Americans age 65 and older -- they had the highest injury rate.
Falls were the cause of 80 percent of all bathroom accidents, causing serious injuries like hip fractures. Older Americans had the highest fracture rates and were hospitalized most often.
Many of these accidents could be prevented with the installation of grab bars to aid with balance.
An editorial accompanying the CDC report notes that while 63 percent of U.S. homes used bathtub mats or nonskid strips to help reduce bathtub falls, only 19 percent of homes had grab bars.
Some of the other CDC findings:
* Women were injured the most often, at a rate 72 percent higher than men.
* Injuries getting on or off the toilet were highest for Americans age 65 and older, followed by injuries occurring in or around the tub or shower.
"Injuries getting on and off the toilet are quite high in people 65 and older," Judy A. Stevens, an epidemiologist with the C.D.C. and the lead author of the report, told the New York Times. "Having grab bars by the toilet would be helpful for people in their older years, and everyone would benefit from having grab bars both inside the tub or shower and where you get in and out."
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