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Pool & Spa Hazards for Children


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 -- use a spa or hot tub without supervision. Make sure you can see what they're 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 medicine. Prescription and over-the-counter medicines sometimes cause drowsiness or other side effects. Check with your doctor about taking these medicines while using a spa or hot tub.
  • Respect drains. Make sure your drains are up to date with the law or code specifications to prevent hair or body parts from getting sucked in. If your pool or spa doesn't have two drains working together, they should have a device to automatically cut off the suction.
  • 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 body parts into drains. They should not play the "hold your breath underwater" game.
  • Require good behavior from kids. 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 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.
  • Prepare for emergency. Know where all electrical switches and circuit breakers for pool 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 & Hot Tub Maintenance

  • Update drain covers. Make sure your spa or hot tub has newer, safer drain covers that help prevent injuries. 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 local codes and the National Electrical Code.
  • Respect electricity. Use battery-operated appliances instead of cord-connected appliances in and around the pool.
  • Prevent infections. Change hot tub water frequently to prevent "hot tub lung" and "hot tub folliculitis." Also, shower before getting into a hot tub to help keep water clean.
  • Keep water safe. Keep the water temperature at 104 F 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.
  • NO infants allowed. A baby’s thin skin makes it more susceptible to overheating




WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on May 26, 2014
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