As your local safer-pool experts, we’re always ready to help you improve hot tub safety to protect the whole family. While they can be a fun way to relax or to find relief from pain, they can also be dangerous if not properly maintained. We have the hot tub tips you need for safer hot tub use and to help you prevent unsupervised access. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says pool and hot tub-related drownings are on the rise, so the time to take steps to protect your loved ones is now.
Hot Tub Dangers
Some aspects of hot tub safety will be familiar to pool owners. As water amenities, they share a potential for drowning injuries that can’t be ignored. With hot tubs, however, you also face dangers associated with higher temperatures and the smaller, confined space. While these risk factors especially affect children, they can also create dangerous conditions for pets, the elderly, and anyone who has a mental or physical health condition that affects circulation or mobility. The best hot tub tips help you manage these risk factors while keeping your hot tub ready for use.
Keep Your Hot Tub Secure
The first step in focusing on hot tub safety is making sure that you prevent unsupervised access. Safety barriers that help prevent access to the water can be instrumental in preventing accidental drownings by keeping the most at-risk individuals away from your hot tub, whether it’s inground or above ground.
- Pool Fencing – Removable mesh pool fencing gives you flexible protection around your hot tub or pool area that deters unsupervised access but can be moved out of the way for easier access when entertaining. The taut mesh prevents climbing, minimized gaps that keep small bodies from pushing themselves through, and a self-closing, self-latching gate prevents accidents from unsecured gates.
- Pool Nets – Safety nets are anchored around your hot tub and tensioned with springs to improve hot tub safety by preventing access. Nets are flexible barriers that can be anchored over and around supporting features or to walls and traditional fencing.
- Hot Tub Covers – Depending on your hot tub layout, a safety cover could help keep your tub and pool safe. It’s important to not mistake a solar or insulated hot tub cover for a safety cover, as they can increase the risk of drowning by entangling or trapping a child or pet in the water while hiding them from sight.
Watch The Temperature
Hot tubs are great when you’re looking for a warm soak, but don’t let the temperature get too high for hot tub safety. The CDC warns that hot tub temperatures over 104℉ are dangerous, which is why most modern hot tubs don’t go over this safety threshold. Your ideal hot tub temperature might be far lower. Many users find their ideal temperature is between 100-102℉, but to start with, set your hot tub as close to 98.6℉ as possible. This makes the tub’s heat level around your own body temperature, which should feel warm but not hot, and allows you to incrementally adjust it upwards to find your own sweet spot.
When using the hot tub with smaller bodies, like children and pets, remember that their body temperatures heat up faster than full-grown adults and can reach dangerous levels quickly. Infants and toddlers should never be in a hot tub that’s set above the average human body temperature, as the effects on the body can mimic those of a fever, potentially causing injuries. Likewise, pets can overheat rapidly with no way to communicate their distress to their owners. While they may love the pool, they may not have a body system that can regulate temperature by sweating the way we do.
Take Your Time
For hot tub safety, make sure you don’t relax too much and drift off to sleep in the hot tub. All hot tub users, especially children and smaller adults, should take breaks from the hot tub periodically to allow their bodies time to cool off. Usually, this means stepping out of the tub for a few minutes every hour, but if you’ve set your hot tub near the maximum threshold, your body may need safety breaks every 20 minutes. While many people ignore this hot tub tip, overexposure can lead to distress, unconsciousness, and death.
Keep It Clean
Another way hot tubs differ from pools is the rate at which biological contaminants, like bacteria, can proliferate. The warm heat of your spa is perfect for rapid bacterial reproduction, making cleaning and sanitizing your water vital for hot tub safety. Test your water’s chemistry several times a week to ensure pH is between 7.4 and 7.6, alkalinity is between 80 and 120ppm, and hardness is shown between 150 and 250 ppm, and adjust your levels as necessary. Everyone should rinse off before entering the tub, while food and beverages should be kept away from the water. When not in use, keep your spa covered appropriately to cut down on the risk of dirt, leaves, or other debris contaminating your water. Finally, those with skin conditions, sores, or open wounds should forego using the hot tub until their skin is whole.
Make hot tub safety a priority when deciding what activities are appropriate for your spa. Keep the number of guests to your manufacturer’s recommended levels, and watch for signs of distress, either from heat or accidental immersion. Alcohol use can be dangerous when combined with hot tubs, as it causes dilation of blood vessels, increasing the risk of overheating and the rate at which it can happen. Be aware of hazards around the hot tub, such as electrical devices or glass containers. Because it’s smaller than a pool, many people think there is less danger, but a device as small and ubiquitous as a phone charger can be an electrocution risk, and broken glass can become nearly invisible once submerged in the roiling, bubbling water.
Protect Your Spa And Family
As your local hot tub safety experts, we can do more than just offer the hot tub tips that keep you safer. We’re ready to help you protect your loved ones with hot tub barriers that prevent unsupervised access but leave your hot tub easy to use for maximum enjoyment. When you request a free quote, our neighborhood installation specialist will take measurements and design a safety plan around your hot tub’s specific needs. Find out how budget-friendly peace of mind can be. Call for a free estimate from Lifeguard on Duty today.