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Pool, spa and hot tub safety for children

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Hot tub and spa safety

Follow these precautions in keeping your hot tub or spa safe:

  • Always supervise. Do not allow anyone - of any age - to use a spa or hot tub without supervision. Never allow children to use a spa or hot tub unsupervised - even for a moment. Make sure you can see what they are doing
  • Prohibit drinking. Do not drink alcohol before - or while - soaking in a spa or hot tub. Alcohol increases the risk of passing out, heart attack, or injury from passing out and falling
  • Be careful with medication. Prescription and over-the-counter medication sometimes cause drowsiness or other side effects. Check with your doctor or pharmacist about taking these drugs while using a spa or hot tub
  • Respect drains. Long hair and even body parts can get pulled into a drain, causing serious injury and even death. Make sure your guests know about this danger
  • Talk to children about dangers. Never allow a child to play in a way that would permit hair to come near a drain cover. They should not stick fingers, toes or other body parts into drains. They should not play the "hold your breath underwater" game
  • Require good behaviour from children. This means:
    • No playful screaming for help (false alarms) that might mask a real emergency
    • No running or pushing near the spa or hot tub
    • No diving or jumping into a spa or hot tub
    • No playing on top of the hot tub cover. They do not usually support a child's weight
  • Respect storms. Never use the hot tub or spa before, during, or after a thunderstorm. There is a real danger of electrocution from lightning hitting the water
  • Prepare for emergency. Know where all electrical switches and circuit breakers for hot tub equipment and lights are located and how to turn them off in an emergency. Learn how to perform CPR. Keep a First Aid kit close by

Spa and hot tub maintenance

  • Update drain covers. Make sure your spa or hot tub has newer, safer drain covers that help prevent body parts from getting stuck. If a drain cover is missing or broken, shut down the hot tub until it is replaced. Call a spa or hot tub professional if you are uncertain about this.
  • Get inspected. Have your hot tub and spa inspected for electrical hazards, and upgrade all systems according to national safety standards.
  • Respect electricity. Use battery-operated appliances instead of cord-connected appliances in and around the hot tub.
  • Prevent infections. Change hot tub water frequently to prevent "hot tub lung" and other bacterial lung infections. Also, shower before getting into a hot tub to help keep water clean.
  • Keep water safe. Keep the water temperature at 40 degrees Celsius or below. Keep water clean, properly disinfected and clear of debris.
  • Use spa covers. They protect children from danger, save energy and keep debris out of the spa.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 30, 2017

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