Hot tubs are well known for relaxation, recreation and socialization. Such thoughts conjure up images of bliss and contentment and rarely are hot tubs thought of more critically. For instance, are hot tubs safe? It’s true that any body of water exhibits some innate dangers, and the hot tub is no exception. In this article we’ll cover some of the things that need to be kept in mind when it comes to hot tub safety.
Walk, Don’t Run
The most frequent mishap that occurs around hot tubs is slipping and falling. Water will naturally cause surfaces to become slippery and this can become even more of a concern during cold, icy weather. Beyond following the omnipresent aquatic sports rule of, “No running,” the installation of a non-slip surface around the hot tub and surrounding pathways will decrease the chances of injury due to falling.
Another major concern around bodies of water is the safety of children. They need to be supervised at all times around a hot tub. Even a few seconds of inattentiveness can lead to tragedy. Hot tubs add an extra element of danger with their elevated water temperatures. Because their skin isn’t yet fully developed, babies should not spend any time in a hot tub. Young toddlers are still susceptible to overheating and shouldn’t be allowed into a fully heated hot tub. Older children should be tall enough to be able to stand in the hot tub with their head above water before being allowed to use the hot tub. Even then, their soaking time should be limited to five minutes or less. To prevent any accidents from occurring when the hot tub isn’t being used, it’s important to install a locking cover whenever children are in or around the house. You should also consider surrounding your hot tub with a fence that will prevent curious neighborhood children from gaining uninvited access.
Aside from slipping and falling, for adults the main safety concern is spending too much time in the hot tub and overheating. Soaks should be limited to 20 minutes or less and if at any point dizziness or faintness is felt, getting out of the hot tub immediately is critical. The water temperature should not exceed 104 degrees fahrenheit. In fact, most hot tubs will not reach temperatures higher than that. Those with health conditions and pregnant women should speak to their doctors before spending time in a hot tub. Alcohol and drug use before or during hot tub use should therefore be avoided. They can cloud judgement, cause drowsiness and reduce the perception of overheating.
Although the warm waters of the hot tub are one of its most comforting features, if left to its own devices, it can quickly begin to harbor dangerous bacteria, viruses and molds. Keeping the water and the hot tub clean is absolutely necessary for safe and healthy soaking. Fortunately, by following a regular maintenance regimen, you can easily avoid any problems with unsafe water. Depending on the amount of use the hot tub is getting you should be testing your water chemistry at least once per week. This will let you know whether you need to add chemicals to ensure the water is clean and safe. Your filter cartridges will need to be cleaned regularly and the hot tub itself will need to be emptied and given a deep cleaning once a year or more. The actual frequency will depend on the amount of use it’s getting and the type of water purification system you’re using. By sticking to a regular maintenance schedule, you can be assured your water remains safe and healthy.
To learn more about hot tub safety, download a free buyer’s guide today.