If you’re the proud new owner of a pool-hot tub combo, congratulations! Having a hot tub in your own backyard is your one way ticket to relaxation and enjoyment outdoors whenever you want. But if you have a hot tub, you may be wondering… is it safe for your kids?
This is a major question for pool and hot tub owners, since many such owners either have kids of their own or frequently have families over for pool days and barbecues. You want to know if young kids can enjoy the hot tub just as much as you can! Today, we will answer that question and offer some great safety tips for hot tub safety.
One of the most important considerations to keep in mind is the age of your child. It is generally advised that infants, toddlers and young children stay out of the hot tub until they are older. This is because these children have extra thin skin, meaning that the warm water and jets you enjoy can actually lead to overheating… and that is something you definitely don’t want on a relaxing afternoon outdoors!
According to the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, it’s a good idea to hold off on hot tub use until your child is tall enough to reach the bottom of the tub and still have their head completely above water. While younger (and shorter) kids often spend time in the pool, it’s harder to enjoy the hot tub because there’s no room for swimming or treading water. Even when your child is tall enough, encourage them to sit on your hot tub’s seat to avoid soaking their entire body and, thus, preventing the effects of overheating.
The time spent in the hot tub is also important to keep in mind. You want to keep the soaking time to a minimum simply to make the experience more enjoyable! At your tub’s maximum temperature of about 104 degrees, keep your “sessions” down to about five minutes. At a slightly lower temperature, you may be able to extend that time, but still be sure to alternate hot tub soaking with time in the pool. This can keep your afternoon of fun relaxing and enjoyable without risking your child overheating and becoming uncomfortable.
While you, as an adult, have the thick skin and body cues to endure longer periods of time in the hot tub, your child does not. To make the time limits and precautions easier for them, lead by example and take breaks with them.
Another tip that’s good for all ages: stay hydrated! Even though you’re in the water, your body is still heating up and, as a result, requires frequent hydration. Keep a cool bottle of water nearby for you, your child and whoever else is enjoying the hot tub.
Finally, we know that kids will be kids—but try to keep horseplay, running and other games to a minimum near your hot tub. As is the case with your pool, the deck here can be especially slippery; additionally, the shallow water doesn’t provide much “cushion” for jumping in like the pool does. Remind your child that water fun is best kept for the swimming pool, and relaxation and sit-down time is better for the hot tub.
By following these simple guidelines, your hot tub can be a fun treat for all ages!