How Safe Are Hot Tubs for Kids, Really?

If you have a hot tub and children or grandchildren, you’ve no doubt wondered: How young is too young for a dip in the spa? Assuming the kids are old enough to play in a pool or hot tub (let’s say they have taken some swimming lessons so they’re comfortable in the water), is the high temperature harmful? How long should they stay in the water?

When can you leave kids alone to use the hot tub? Will the kids understand the dangers?

There are so many questions! Luckily, we’ve found some guidelines.
As long as you keep your hot tub maintained and clean, disinfected and relatively free from bacteria, it should be safe for most people of most ages to use. However, pregnant women should avoid soaking for longer than ten minutes at a time (or avoid it completely, if they’re not feeling well). The elderly or those with health conditions such as varicose veins or low blood pressure (if it’s okay with their doctors that they use the spa) should monitor how they feel and exit the hot tub should they feel worse upon entering.

As for kids, you should restrict access to your hot tub at all times. Babies and toddlers should not be allowed in your hot tub at all. Older children are still at a much higher risk of overheating than adults, and according to a HealthLinkBC article from July, 2007, should not be allowed to soak in a hot tub for longer than five minutes at a time.

Consider the temperature too – it doesn’t need to be at the maximum safe heat setting! Choose a lower temperature for kids.

Of course, if you don’t have the time or ability to supervise older children using your hot tub, you shouldn’t allow them to use it at all! Most spa accidents involving kids happen when they’re unsupervised, or their supervisor is (even briefly) distracted.

Ensure that children don’t put their heads near the suction fitting; hair can become entangled and cause drowning. Know how to turn your hot tub off immediately should an emergency arise.

Use caution, prioritize kids’ safety around hot tubs, and you and the kids can have an enjoyable spa experience.

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