This January is Bath Safety month, reminding you to take some extra precautions and save yourselves from home injuries. Bathing is such a routine activity that we often neglect to take proper precautions while we’re in what is absolutely one of the most dangerous places in our homes. But there are a lot of things we can do to minimize the risk of injury in the bath. And many of these precautions are especially important for the very young and the very old. Safety bars — or grab handles — and non-slip mats inside the tub or shower are just two of the most effective — and most common — ways to stay safe in our soapy havens. Let’s look at a few more — in honor of National Bath Safety Month, which takes place every January.
History of National Bath Safety Month
Before Ancient Greece, in prehistoric times, the sea and rivers served as the most raw and original form of a bath. The oldest accountable daily ritual of bathing can be traced to the ancient Indians. They used elaborate practices for personal hygiene with three daily baths and washing. These are recorded in the works called grihya sutras and are in practice today in some communities. As communities formed in the ancient world, public baths became the main form of bathing, largely because many didn’t have access to private bathing facilities. The Great Bath of Mohenjo, daro is one of the earliest public baths in history. Located in Sindh, Pakistan, the bath dates back to the ancient Indus Valley Civilization — one of the three oldest human civilizations, next to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.
“Showers” in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia involved rich people having private rooms in which servants poured cold water out of jugs over them, but the ancient Greeks were really the first to pioneer what we now consider the modern shower. The first showers where water actually flowed through a pipe were originally developed by ancient Greeks. The Romans expanded on this pipe system creating their famous aqueducts that provided indoor plumbing and bath houses with water. These public bathhouses were virtually the first spas, fully equipped with massages, exercise, and entertainment.
By the early twentieth century, personal cleanliness became a greater concern. Growing awareness of germs inspired new advice on bathing to remove “invisible dirt” which caused disease. Meanwhile, industrial production techniques made tubs cheaper, and warm baths became more acceptable as a means of comfort and relaxation.