Child Safety Around Hot Tubs

child safety

Spend a moment with your children talking about child safety around pool and hot tub to help them better understand their dangers. Read more at BeWellBuzz!

One part of being a parent is always making sure your children are safe. Children are so curious and adventuresome that sometimes they can get into dangerous situations. Take a moment to talk with your children about pool and hot tub safety to help them better understand their dangers and why they always need adult supervision around them. However, there is no substitute for constant adult supervision when it comes to children.

When it comes to hot tubs, children under the age of 5 should not be permitted to enter. As a rule of thumb, they also should be tall enough to stand in the center of the hot tub with their head above water. If you have any concerns or questions, talk with your child’s doctor before you allow them in a hot tub.

Also make sure your children know how to swim (or are taking the proper swimming classes) before allowing them in a pool or hot tub.

Covers, Gates, and Fences

Drowning can happen in an instant; 77 percent of drowning victims were missing from sight for only five minutes or less. Many communities and states have enacted safety regulations for keeping children safe, which parents and pool owners must comply with. Check with your state to find what preventative actions you can take to reduce the chances of children getting in the pool or hot tub area without supervision.

Always keep your hot tub covered when not in use to prevent children from entering it when you’re not around. It is also a good idea to install a self-locking gate around the hot tub to keep children from playing around the hot tub area. When installing a fence around the area, the barrier should be at least four feet high with no foot or handholds a child could use to get over it. In addition, vertical slats should be no more than four inches apart to keep children from squeezing between them.

Another excellent preventative measure is installing a door alarm. These alarms should omit an audible sound when the fence door is opened unexpectedly. Various door alarms (operated by a keypad or switch) are available that are affordable and easy to install.

Heat Stroke and Dehydration

Children handle heat differently than adults. If you keep your hot tub at its maximum temperature (104 degrees Fahrenheit), children should be in it no longer than five minutes at a time. Drop the temperature down to 98 degrees to allow for a longer soak (up to 15 minutes at a time). High temperatures can cause drowsiness (for both adults and children), heat stroke, unconsciousness and possible death.

If your child experiences dizziness, have him or her drink some cool liquids or Gatorade to help them rehydrate. Also have them rest in a cool place with a fan until they feel better. If vomiting or muscle cramps (lasting more than 4 hours) occur or if your child’s condition otherwise worsens, call your doctor immediately.

Please note this information is only for educational purposes and should never be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you’re ever in doubt or have questions, always speak with your child’s doctor.

Drain Covers

Before you allow any children in your hot tub, make sure it has a drain cover that follows the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s safety standards. Have a professional check the hot tub regularly to ensure it is working properly and all the drain covers are in place.

If your child has long hair, it can get caught or sucked into the grate or suction-fitting covering of the hot tub and he or she could drown. Even with a drain cover that meets the CPSC safety standards, you always should supervise your children closely.

For an additional safety measure, take a class to get CPR certified and have other caregivers (babysitters, older siblings and grandparents) learn CPR also.

When it comes to pool and hot tub safety, you never can be too careful. A child can drown in less time than it takes to make a phone call and in as little as two inches of water. Take time to go over pool and hot tub safety procedures and speak with your pool or hot tub dealer and medical professional to find out what more you can do to help protect your children.

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