Hot tubs can be a great way for the entire family to relax and unwind. The Lord knows I love hot tubs. However, when it comes to young children, there are necessary precautions that need to be taken to ensure their safety. Let’s touch on the subject (Are Hot Tubs Safe for Kids?) here in my article.
I will talk about the potential dangers associated with hot tub use for young children. Plus, I’ll provide you with tips to make your hot tub experience with your little ones a safe one.
Dangers of Hot Tubs
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), drowning is the main hazard associated with hot tubs and spas. Shockingly, about one-fifth of hot tub-related deaths are children under the age of five.
To prevent such accidents, the CPSC recommends using a hot tub cover with a locked safety cover when not in use, and children should never be allowed near the hot tub without constant adult supervision.
Hair Entanglement and Suction Drains
Another lesser-known danger of hot tubs is the risk of hair entanglement and suction drains. Since 1990, there have been numerous incidents where people’s hair got entangled in the suction fitting of a hot tub or spa, leading to drowning. This is particularly concerning for children who may have long hair and can easily get their hair caught in the drain cover.
To reduce the risk, it is essential to ensure that your hot tub has drain covers that meet the safety standards set by the CPSC. If the drain cover is missing or damaged, it is crucial to shut down the hot tub until it is replaced.
Hot tubs are known for their high water temperatures, which can pose a risk to young children. The CPSC has documented cases of deaths resulting from extremely hot water, approximately (43°C)110°F. High temperatures can cause drowsiness, leading to unconsciousness and potentially drowning.
To prevent such incidents, it is crucial to keep the water temperature in your hot tub at or below (40°C)104°F.
Hot Tub Safety Guidelines for Young Children
Infants and Toddlers
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) advises that infants and toddlers under two years old should not be permitted in a hot tub at all. Their thin skin makes them more prone to the risk of overheating, which can be dangerous and lead to heat stroke.
On top of that, since young children have limited control over their bodily functions, hot tubs can quickly become unsanitary when accidents happen. It is important to prioritize the safety of your little ones and keep them away from hot tubs until they are older.
Age-Appropriate Hot Tub Use
Children should only be allowed in a hot tub when they are old enough to stand on the bottom of the spa and have their heads remain completely out of the water. This ensures that they have the necessary height and control to prevent any potential drowning incidents.
However, even when children are tall enough to use a hot tub, it is recommended that they do not spend more than five minutes at a time in the hot tub, especially at the maximum temperature of (40°C)104°F. Dropping the spa to a lower temperature of (36°C) 98°F can allow for longer soaking time, but for safety concerns never exceed 15 minutes at a time
Avoid Full Body Immersion
For young children who are using a hot tub, it is advisable to avoid full body immersion. Instead, they should sit on “jump seats” that some hot tubs have, allowing for waist-high immersion. This reduces the risk of children accidentally submerging their heads underwater and the risk of drowning.
Supervision and Hydration
Responsible adult supervision is very important when it comes to the safety of children around a hot tub or pool area. There should always be an adult designated to maintain constant visual contact with children whenever they are near or could potentially access the hot tub.
Also, it is important to encourage children to drink fresh water while they are in the hot tub to prevent dehydration. Always keep a bottle of water handy!
More Water Safety Reminders
Apart from the guidelines mentioned above, here are some additional safety precautions to keep in mind when using a hot tub with young children:
- Surround your hot tub with a fence at least four feet high and ensure it has a self-latching gate or door to prevent unauthorized access.
- Be aware of hot tubs in other locations your child may visit, such as friends’ houses or hotels, and ensure they are following safety protocols.
- Maintain the hot tub’s water quality by regularly testing and adjusting the chemical and pH levels. A well-chlorinated hot tub should have little to no strong chemical smell, indicating proper maintenance.
- Keep an eye out for any signs of discomfort or illness in your child while using the hot tub. If they feel sick, dizzy, or sleepy, they should exit the hot tub immediately.
Dad’s Last Words
(Small Children + Hot Tubs: Good Idea?)
Hot tubs, or Jacuzzis as I like to call them, can be a great way to chill out and enjoy a few laughs, but it is crucial to prioritize the safety of young children when using them. By following the simple hot tub safety tips outlined in this Daddy guide, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable hot tub experience for everyone in your family.
Remember, responsible adult supervision, temperature control, and age-appropriate use are key to keeping hot tubs safe for kids. It’s all about striking the right balance of good times and avoiding the bad times. Put soaking in a hot tub a priority on your family’s bucket list today! Enjoy and be safe!