Hot Tub Safety for Kids: How to Have Fun Without Accidents

May 20, 2011

May is National Water Safety Month and a good time to revisit hot tub water safety for kids.

Memorial Day will soon be here and many people will be having friends over for picnics, barbecues and hot tubbing.  (Pray for sun!)

Be smart about hot water safety. Thinking about all that fun ahead can push safety out of mind. But, planning ahead for child safety is worth it in the long run.  Especially when children are going to be at the party, establish safety rules for the hot tub that guarantees fun without accidents.

  1. No Children without Adults. Treat the hot tub like a pool. Make it a house rule that children never go in the hot tub without adult supervision.
  2. Lock It Up. Install a locking cover to prevent use by children when you’re not present and use it. Remember to lock the cover every time you get out of the hot tub.
  3. Get in the tub with small children. Smaller children are more likely to get in the hot tub when the bubbles are off. Turn jets on with most of the air dialed back if the child feels uncomfortable. Gradually add air as they feel more secure.  Note that small children may not weigh enough to hold themselves steady in front of the jets. A strong air and water flow may throw them off-balance so hold them until they can manage.
  4. Introduce small children to the water gradually. Let smaller children work their way into the hot tub at their own pace.  First a toe, then a foot. For that initial dip, turn the temperature down to 100 degrees to get them accustomed to the water.
  5. Tween/Teen Party on the calendar? Planning a hot tub party with your tweens/teens? Explain that horseplay, diving and splashing water out of the tub are “OUT”.  Keep a close eye on the action.  I-phones and other electronics do not belong in the tub unless they’ve part of the tub’s entertainment system and waterproof.
  6. Explain the rules ahead of time and enforce them as needed. Tell them that accessories are not play toys-i.e. the cover is not a trampoline!
  7. Watch for red faces! When kids look too hot, encourage them to get out of the hot tub or sit on the edge and dip their feet instead. Have them stay out until they’ve cooled down.
  8. Help them stay hydrated by having water and juice nearby. Don’t forget the food-no matter old your kids are, they’ll probably be hungry after hot tubbing. And, serve the food after the dip. You don’t want a mess on your hands from spilled snacks in the water.
  9. No bubbles in the tub please. Never allow kids to add anything to the tub without your permission.  Some children are allowed to maintain the family hot tub and are very good at it. We’re talking bubble bath and soap here.
  10. Lock up the chemicals. Keep all spa chemicals locked up and out of reach.

Think about safety before you hot tub with kids.  Better safe than sorry.

SANUM PER AQUA. Latin for health through water.