June is National Safety Month and we’d like to take a minute to talk about hot tub safety. Hot tubs are a fun and relaxing way to spend time with your family! However, you should be aware of safety precautions when it comes to kids in the hot tub. First of all, no infants and toddlers should be allowed in the hot tub. For young children, here are some guidelines we recommend:
- First and foremost, make sure your kids understand that they should not get in or be around the hot tub without adult supervision. You may also want to enforce the rules they follow at your local pool: no rough-housing and no running around the hot tub. Installing handrails is a great idea to help your kids not slip while entering and exiting the hot tub.
- Is my kid safe to be in a hot tub? A great rule of thumb is to have your child sit in your empty hot tub. Is his or her head above the water line? If so, your child is probably big enough to be in the hot tub. If not, it might be best to restrict your child’s hot tub use until they have grown enough to sit in the hot tub with their head out of the water.
- While the hot tub is not in use, secure the area. Kids love to get into things, and a hot tub might look like a grand adventure to a small child who doesn’t know any better. Use a locking hot tub cover, or consider inserting a gate around the hot tub area so that your children won’t wander to the hot tub area without supervision.
- Have your kids avoid going underwater, or sitting with their entire body (except the head) underwater for long periods of time. This will help their body temperature not to get too high. Everyone in the hot tub, including adults, should get out if feelings of dizziness or sleepiness occur. Children, being smaller than adults, tend to overheat faster, so be sure to be on the lookout for signs of dizziness or sleepiness in your children. It’s also important to encourage proper hydration: everyone needs to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated!
- If your hot tub temperature is at 104 degrees, don’t allow your kids to soak in the hot tub for more than 5 minutes at a time. Don’t allow your kids to soak for more than 15 minutes in a 98 degree hot tub. Kids have a lower tolerance for heat, so it is important that they get out of the tub more frequently.
- Be sure to explain to your children that, just like at a public swimming pool, spa water is not to be consumed! Make sure kids understand that hot tub water is not for drinking-- depending on what type of hot tub you have, your water will either have chlorine or saltwater, either of which can be dangerous in large quantities.
Following these simple guidelines can help make your hot tub experience the safest for your kids.