Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. You take a seat on the toilet, do your business, and then… splash! A small (or sometimes not-so-small) amount of toilet water hits you, typically right in the nether regions.
It’s enough to make you jump out of your skin and leave you wondering: can toilet splash cause infection?
Can Toilet Splash Cause Infection?
The short answer is yes—but the good news is that the risk is relatively low. The vast majority of infections that occur from contact with contaminated water are gastrointestinal illnesses like diarrhea and vomiting, which are usually not serious.
However, there are a few more serious infections that can occur if you’re exposed to contaminated water, particularly if it contains fecal matter. These include diseases like hepatitis A and E, cholera, and typhoid fever, according to WebMD.
Fortunately, the likelihood of contracting any of these diseases from a toilet splash is relatively low—after all, toilets these days are designed to keep our waste away from us, not the other way around.
And even if you do come into contact with contaminated water, as long as you practice good hygiene (i.e., wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water), you should be fine. So go ahead and take a seat—just be sure to keep your hands away from your face until after you’ve had a chance to wash them!
What Happens if You Get Toilet Water in Your Face?
For the most part, if you get toilet water in your face, you’re likely to just experience some temporary discomfort. Even so, it’s still important to take precautions.
The good news is that most toilets in the developed world are relatively clean. In fact, according to the University of Arizona, the average toilet seat has fewer germs than your cell phone, computer keyboard, or doorknob.
So unless the toilet you were using was visibly dirty or known to be contaminated with fecal matter, the risk of getting sick from exposure is low.
However, it’s still important to wash off any toilet water that gets on you as soon as possible. Soap and water will do the trick for most people, but if you’re particularly worried about germs, you can use mouthwash or a saline solution to rinse out your mouth and cool, clean water from the faucet to flush out your eyes.
If the toilet was contaminated with fecal matter when it splashed on you, rinse as above and contact a health care professional as toilets can harbor various bugs, including streptococcus and hepatitis A. However, as long as you take some basic precautions, a little bit of toilet water isn’t going to hurt you.
Can Toilet Water Make You Sick?
In short, yes—but the likelihood of getting sick from contact with toilet water is relatively low. The majority of infections that come into contact with contaminated water are usually mild and can be treated by washing off any toilet splashes or rinsing your mouth out with a saline solution.
However, if you do happen to get exposed to fecal matter, it’s important to take extra precautions and contact a healthcare professional. Fortunately, with modern plumbing, most toilets are relatively clean and safe to use—so take a seat without worrying!
In the end, a toilet splash can sometimes cause an infection, but the risk is usually low. To be on the safe side, just be sure to always practice good hygiene and keep an eye out for any signs of infection. That way, you can enjoy your time on the toilet without worrying about what might splash up!
How To Prevent Toilet Water From Splashing Back Up?
There are a few simple tips and tricks to help prevent toilet water from splashing back up. The first is to place some toilet paper in the bowl before you sit down. This acts as a barrier between you and the water, preventing it from making contact with your body.
You can also try changing your position on the seat; certain toilets may fill differently, so shifting your body to the side can help reduce the risk of splashback.
Finally, if you’re dealing with an especially difficult toilet, consider investing in a splash guard. These plastic shields are attached to the edge of the bowl and keep any splashes from getting on you.
The next time you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being splashed by toilet water, don’t freak out—the chances of getting sick are pretty slim.
However, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after any potential exposure to harmful bacteria—just to be on the safe side.
And if you do happen to develop any symptoms after an unfortunate encounter with toilet water splash, be sure to see a doctor right away.