Hot Tub Safety
Infants and toddlers should not be permitted in a hot tub at all as babies' thin skin makes them more susceptible to overheating. Also, since little ones have very little control over bodily functions, spas become unsanitary almost instantly when "accidents" happen.
No young child should be allowed in a hot tub until they can stand on the bottom and have their head remain completely out of the water. Children who are big enough to be in a hot tub should not use it for more than five minutes at a time, especially at the maximum temperature of 104 degrees. Dropping the spa temperature to 98 degrees would allow for longer soaks – but never more than 15 minutes at a time. It is also recommended that young children avoid full body immersion, choosing instead to sit on “jump seats” that some spas have that permit waist-high immersion.
All persons, and especially young children, should be encouraged to drink fresh water while they're soaking. If the bather feels sick to their stomach, dizzy and / or sleepy, they should exit the spa immediately.
Responsible Adult Supervision is Key to Child Pool, Hot Tub and Water Safety
There should always be an adult designated to maintain constant visual contact with children whenever they are near, or could get near, any body of water.
An exposed suction outlet (drain) presents a serious danger to children and adults. All drains must be protected by an approved cover. If any outlet cover is broken, loose, or missing, the pool should be closed immediately, and an industry professional should be contacted to make the necessary repairs. For more information on how to prevent entrapment injuries, or to learn whether a pool or spa has the proper approved covers, contact an industry professional or the APSP.
Layers of Protection
In addition to supervision, APSP supports the concept of "layers of protection." This means the pool, spa, or hot tub is equipped with several devices to delay unsupervised access or warn of a child's presence. Following are some options for protecting children and preventing accidents:
- Fencing: Isolate the swimming pool with a minimum four-foot-high enclosure.
- Safety Covers: An impenetrable covering that completely covers the pool, spa, or hot tub will prevent access to the water when there is not supervision.
- Alarms: Alarms are available for doors, fences, in pools, and as a clip-on for children. Alarms detect unwanted entrances to your pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Rope and Float Line: Place these across the pool to alert swimmers to the separation of the deep end from the shallow end of the pool.
- Rescue Equipment: Equipment such as a life ring and shepherd's hook should be placed near the pool in an easily accessible spot.
- Posted Emergency Information: Post all CPR, other emergency information, and warning signs, as well as the emergency telephone number - 911 - near the pool, spa, or hot tub.
- Outside Telephone: Be sure to have a telephone in case you need to summon help.
Click here for more specific information and free materials.
Always follow pool and spa safety tips to prevent any pool accident with your child. For more information on child pool water safety contact APSP.