Whilst mobility bathrooms are more commonly associated with the elderly, it’s important to recognise that there are many people who require assistance with bathing. Bath time is a relaxing and enjoyable time for all children, so it’s imperative to look at ways in which bathroom safety for children with disabilities can be fully enhanced.
There are a number of ways in which the safety of disabled children can be improved while bathing, in order for your child not only to have fun but to enjoy the added therapeutic benefits it can bring. Every area of your bathroom can be addressed to make it a safe place to relax and retain independence.
Bathroom Safety Tips For Disabled Children
It’s amazing just how many ways your bathroom can be designed to fit perfectly around your the needs of your child, to ensure that they are always safe. With so many companies focused purely on making bathrooms fully accessible and secure, there are some great options to choose from. We are going to take a look at the different ways you can improve bathroom safety, so no matter what disability your child may have, they can fully enjoy bath time.
Bath And Shower Chairs
Many children will not be able to sit unaided while bathing, and if this is the case, a sitting support is an excellent option. With products available for both baths and showers, your child will be able to use whichever facility they prefer with this aid. There are a few things to consider when deciding on which design would be best for your child, some of which include the following:
- How much support does your child need for their back? This will determine the height of the back of the chair and what you will need to look for. For example, a child who only needs support to the lower back won’t need a higher backed chair, allowing for greater freedom while bathing.
- Will your child need extra support while sitting in the chair? for example, a harness or straps.
- The position of the carer will also need to be taken into consideration, for example, if the chair is lower down in a bath, the carer will need to bend over a little more to assist their child. If you would prefer a higher chair, enabling the child and carer to be on the same level, this is possible but there will be less water covering the child.
- Will the bath or shower be needed for other members of the family? If yes, consider getting a lighter chair made from plastic or mesh fabric, so it can be easily moved in and out.
- Do you want the option to move the child up and down whilst bathing, to ensure thorough cleaning and hair washing etc? If yes, look at sitting supports that can be easily reclined.
These brightly coloured bath chairs are a great choice for smaller children with moderate physical disabilities. With adjustable features and lightweight material, it offers great manoeuvrability for bath playtime and cleaning.
If greater support is needed for older children or those with a greater level of disability, this more durable shower chair can be wheeled into place comes with straps to increase security if needed.
This is a relatively easy addition to any bath and shower area and will improve safety immediately. From bath steps, mats and flooring, every area can be made safe for children with disabilities and their carers during bathing and toilet use. Welcome Mobility have a range of anti-slip bath and shower mats, as well as safety strips that can be applied to all surfaces.
If you’d also like to equip your bathroom floor with anti-slip properties, you could consider contacting a company such as Altro, who specialise in this area. By installing an anti-slip floor, you’ll be protecting your child against any potential slip injuries, creating a safer environment for bathing.
Toilet Frames And Aids
Toilet aids come in many different formats, depending on the severity of the disability. From slightly raising the seat for easier use to equipping the toilet with additional frames and rails, there are many ways in which you can use the bathroom safely while dignity is maintained. Having installed mobility bathrooms suites in Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas for many years now, we regularly design bathrooms around this feature, allowing extra space if needed.
Living made easy have a fantastic range of toilet aids, designed specifically for children with disabilities. From toilet cushions and urine deflectors to potty chairs and toilet frames, there are many products to choose from, making your child’s visit to the bathroom, no matter their size or disability, so much easier.
To get your child ready for their bath, it can be nice to do so in the bathroom area for ease. Smirthwaite have a great range of shower and bath stretchers, that can be fitted in numerous ways to suit your child’s needs. Whether you require them to be attached to a wall or mobile so they can be wheeled into shower areas, they can be adjusted for both and not only help your children stay secure but help minimise the risk of injury to the carer.
Made from reinforced materials, they are strong enough to hold children of all weights whilst remaining comfortable. With the ability to also be plumbed in, they are able to drain water away easily keeping your bathroom clean and slip free.
Lifts And Hoists
Bath lifts and hoists are a great option if your child has very limited ability. Independent Living has a great buyer’s guide on choosing a bath lift and some things to consider. Some of the main points include:
- Do you need the bath lift to be removable or can it be fixed into the fitting permanently?
- What controls will you need to be included on the lift? Some are trickier than others to use, so depending on whether you would like the option for your child to do it themselves, will depend on which design will be right for you.
- What is the material and position of your bath? Some are stronger than others and may not be as suitable for a lift or hoist. For example, acrylic and corner baths are not as suitable for a hoist or lift equipment.
- Is your child able to balance on their own? Some lifts have more support to the back and legs, adding more security for those unable to sit up and reposition themselves unaided.
Have a good think about what would be best for your child and begin your search for a suitable lift based on their specific requirements.
Bath Grab Bars And Doors
It may be that the need for a lift or hoist isn’t necessary, but easier access to the bath is. If this is the case, a bath door can be the perfect solution. Along with a safety rail, your child will be able to keep their independence and enjoy a relaxing bath time in the process.
As experts in fitting walk-in baths in Leighton Buzzard and surrounding areas, we regularly receive feedback on how much they have improved the lives of children with disabilities. Having a walk in bath and rails installed doesn’t mean compromising on design, as there are so many different solutions to choose from. Alternatively, if your child needs to be in a chair while bathing, a walk-in shower could be a great choice, as this gives you the option to wheel any bathing aid and out extremely easily.
When looking at grab bars, again, there is an endless choice when it comes to design and usability. Take a look at the range from architonic.com, including designs with curves and built-in trays, depending on what your requirements are.
Sensory Bath Toys
When it comes to bath time, there can never be too many toys! As mentioned before, bath time for children is always fun, but for children with disabilities, it also has many therapeutic and sensory benefits. As well as thinking about their safety, it’s important to make the whole experience as fun as possible. The use of sensory toys and play for disabled children is vitally important, as detailed in this article from Kidcentral; with this in mind, why not look at ways in which you can introduce appropriate toys to bath time?
We love this amazing light up sensory kit from Sensory Education, for example, as it includes flashing bath toys and an underwater bath disco! If you’re not sure what toys would be best for your child and which are suitable to use in the bath, take a look at this guide from the NHS, taking you through things to think about as well as organisations that can help with play and learning for children with disabilities.
Making Bathing Safe And Enjoyable
Bathing and accessing the toilet for children with disabilities needn’t hold them back, as there are so many ways in which their independence can be retained. To make it as enjoyable and safe as possible for your child, consider enhancing your bathroom with some of the above ideas. Together with some lovely bubble bath and sensory toys, your child’s new favourite room will become the bathroom in no time!
Not only will it greatly help their enjoyment and security, your job as their carer will also become easier and will allow you the freedom to enjoy this special time with your child. If you have found this article helpful, or think that someone else would benefit from these ideas, why not share it on social media using the icons below?
If you are looking to install a mobility bathroom in Aylesbury or any of the surrounding areas, specifically for a child with disabilities, we are more than happy to assist in any way we can.