Aqueous Pools Inc.

Hot Tub and In-Ground Spa Safety Tips

Posted on: May 31st, 2012 by Dave No Comments

While my own two children love the pool, they often asked when they can jump into the in-ground spa with the bubbles and heat.  They are now nine and six, and we still hesitate to let them due to the extreme heat and number of risks involved with children using hot tubs or in-ground spas. Besides taking care with your children around a spa, adults also have to consider the hazards.

Safety Tips with Children in Mind

Here are some safety tips to consider when you have an in-ground spa or even an above-ground hot tub:

  • Infants and those children under five should not be allowed to use a hot tub or spa at all. This is because they are at a high risk of overheating quickly or dehydrating.
  • Children should be limited to their time in the spa or hot tub to at most 20 minute increments, depending on the temperature. Here, it is best to use common sense and go with smaller time increments until you are sure they can withstand the temperature.
  • When children are using the spa or hot tub, consider lowering the temperature while they are using it.
  • Drowning is a serious risk with hot tubs. If you have a hot tub, consider a locking cover. Never leave children alone in a hot tub or spa even for a minute! Also consider the drain cover being used as many children have had their hair entangled and drowned. Try using a raised or dome-shaped drain cover. Also make sure you know where the cut-off switch is for the pump so it can be turned off quickly in case there is an emergency.

General Safety Tips for Adults

Here are some tips for adults to consider when using a hot tub or in-ground spa:

  • Be sure to regularly check the water chemistry just as you would do with a swimming pool to ensure the right water balance in terms of pH and Total Alkalinity. Because the temperature is usually very hot, it can be a soup of harmful microorganisms and bacteria before you know it if you don’t keep the water sanitized.
  • While it may seem pretty fun to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while relaxing in a spa, the hot water increases the effects of alcohol as well as more quickly dehydrate you. Stick to water or juice and save the beer or wine to enjoy once outside of the spa.
  • Keep track of the time you spend soaking up the hot water.  Even adults should limit their time to 15-20 increments in the hot water.  Also, consider using a floating thermometer to track the water temperature to make sure it is not getting to hot for your health.
  • If you have any health conditions, such as high or low blood pressure, diabetes, or problems with your heart, it is best to check with your doctor before using a hot tub or in-ground spa. And, if you are pregnant, a hot tub or spa is off-limits!
  • Adults also have to worry about drain suction and hair entanglements so the same recommendations on drain covers apply here.
  • Never use an electrical device while in the spa. While it may be common sense, you would be surprised what happens. That means no phones or smartphones, TVs, radios or remote controls.
  • Consider adding safety rails and steps as well as ensuring that there is a non-skid surface just outside of the spa or hot tub.

For more about these safety tips and others, be sure to check with the NSF about more consumer safety advice.

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