Hot tubs provide us with health benefits and fun, but they also have a potentially dangerous side, if users are unaware of how to use them safely, or choose to ignore the safety standards they do know about. Adhering to the following guidelines (and using common sense) will help assure that you, your family and guests will have a safe hot-tubbing experience every time.
- ) Do not get in a hot tub while using alcohol or drugs. Being in hot water intensifies the effects of intoxicants on the body, making us drowsy more quickly. Since it is difficult for the body to regulate its temperature when asleep, many people drown in hot tubs from a drug or alcohol induced stupor. A Scripps Howard News Service Study reported that someone drowns in a hot tub almost every day of the year in the U.S.
- ) Avoid using the hot tub if over-tired and alone in the tub. The same principle above applies here. However, if someone is with you in the tub, they can at least pull you out of the water if you begin to sink.
- ) A tub user with long hair should secure their hair atop their head or use a bathing cap. Although newer hot tubs have filter covers, there is still a risk of drowning from long hair getting caught in a hot tub drain or suction if the user goes under the water.
- ) Keep your hot tub covered whenever it is not being use. This will conserve energy and, more importantly, prevent animals and young children from falling/climbing in. It will also help prevent dirt and debris from getting in. Consider locking your cover to prevent children and unwanted guests from using it when you are not around. Always drain any standing water from the cover.
- ) Never use a phone, TV, radio, or any corded electrical device in or near a hot tub. A corded device is an electrocution risk if it gets wet. Use battery-operated devices instead. In addition, make sure all your electrical outlets are at a safe distance from your hot tub, as required by local building codes.
- ) Never let a child into a hot tub with a water temperature over 90 degrees; and limit their time in the tub to 5-15 minutes. In fact, some pediatricians advise not to take a child under the age of five into a hot tub. If your tub does not have a digital thermometer, get one that floats, and check it frequently when you take children in the tub.
- ) Perform regularly maintenance checks on your hot tub. Faithfully follow the maintenance guidelines in your owner’s manual. Keeping your hot tub’s systems (plumbing, electrical, chemical) in good order will help protect users from problems like water contamination, and adds another layer of safety to your hot tub. Do not use your tub if you think something is wrong, until you have it professionally inspected and fix the problem.