Hopping in the hot tub can be a great way to bring the family together and relax at the end of the day, but if you have little ones, safety is always a concern. To ensure child safety, I've put together some great tips and reminders.
Secure the Area
Many parents, with children who are too young to understand the dangers of water, opt to build an enclosure around their hot tub area. Putting up a fence with a self latching gate can ensure that your child does not get in or around your spa without your permission and supervision. A gated area is also optimal for when the spa cover is not on. If building a fence is unreasonable for your budget or the amount of space you have around your hot tub, having a locking cover for your hot tub is the next best step. Founder of Swim University, Matt Giovanisci is a Pool and Spa Care Expert. Matt says:
"If you don't have a hot tub cover, invest in one! They will not only keep your kids safe when the tub is not in use, but will also save you money on heating your tub. Most hot tub covers come with straps and locks which you can use to secure the cover to the tub. Be sure to lock the cover after every single soak."
If you opt for the spa cover over a gated area, make sure that your children know that as sturdy as spa covers may seem, playing on them is not safe.
Supervise Children at All Times
An accident can happen in seconds. If your child is using the hot tub make sure that you are constantly and closely supervising them. Regardless of your child’s swimming skill level, there are many other factors that could lead to an accident. KidsHealth.org recommends staying close enough to your child to provide what they call “touch supervision” meaning keeping your child at an arms length while hot tubbing.
Turn Down the Heat
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission children should not enter hot tubs over 95F and should be in the tub no longer than 5-10 minutes. It is also not recommended that children under 5 years of age use the hot tub. Before your child gets in the tub, check the temperature, turn it down if it is too hot, and give it time to cool before your child enters.
- Tip: Keep your kids hydrated while using the tub, supply them with water in a plastic glass or water bottle and remind them to drink it!
Talk With Your Kids about Responsible Hot Tub Use
A short list of things you may want to go over with your children before they use the hot tub. Make sure they understand the dangers associated with carelessness in or around the tub.
- Kids should not fully submerge themselves in the water.
- Take care to not allow hair or clothing to get too close to drains.
- In an electronic day and age, make sure your child knows not to bring any electrical appliances into or around the hot tub.
- No running, pushing, or horseplay around or in the tub
If an Emergency Does Occur, Be Prepared
The truth of it is accidents do happen. In case of a mishap it is always good to have a game plan.
- Take a CPR class
- Know how to turn off all power to the hot tub.
- Purchase a first aid kid specifically to be kept near your hot tub.
You can also take the steps to prevent an accident by:
- Putting down slip resistant mats around the hot tub.
- Installing federally-compliant drain covers
Sources http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2010-06-30-hot-tub-safety_N.htm?csp=hf http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/water_safety.html http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/1979/CPSC-Warns-Of-Hot-Tub-Temperatures/