5 Steps To Prevent Accidental Child Drowning in Hot Tubs
May 26, 2014
Did you know that drowning is a leading cause of accidental death for ages 5 and younger?
Almost every week there’s a tragic hot tub drowning in the United States due to lack of adult supervision. The numbers of hot tub drownings are very small compared with those in swimming pools, lakes and rivers, but these deaths are preventable. May is National Water Safety Month and time to put a spotlight on child drowning prevention.
It’s natural for a child to find a hot tub or spa irresistible. It’s also dangerous if you’re a child. As a hot tub owner you have a duty to be vigilant and diligent so that no child ever comes close to such an accident in your yard.
Take these important steps to keep your spa or hot tub area accident-free. The child you save may be your own.
Never leave a child alone, out of visual supervision, in or near the spa or hot tub. Not even for a second. No matter how many swimming lessons or how much experience they have. Many professionals warn that these lessons made provide a false sense of security to a child’s family and not actually prepare a child for surviving a true emergency. Always brief babysitters on the importance of supervision.
Never allow anyone, no matter how old, to soak without a spotter nearby. Make sure nothing obstructs your view of the spa or hot tub along the line of sight from the house. Don’t use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
When you can’t watch, lock the door or gate to the hot tub area. The area should be completely enclosed if you do have young children, and make sure no furniture or objects are nearby that a child could climb to top the wall. Keep the doors from the house to the spa area such and latched, with knobs out of reach of toddlers.
Follow manufacturer’s directions for safe use of your cover, and remove it completely before using the spa or hot tub. Always lock it after use. No one should walk or crawl on a floating cover. If you have an in-ground spa or hot tub, keep toys away so the playing child doesn’t fall in.
Be a model of good spa safety behavior. Forbid pretend screams for help – emergency calls are no laughing matter.
5. Be prepared.
Have a phone handy to call local emergency numbers if an accident happens. Adults in the family should be trained to administer CPR, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and other lifesaving techniques. CPR training is available through the local Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Adults should also know how to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and other lifesaving techniques.
Your hot tub or spa is for fun and relaxation. Knowing that you’ve created a safe space for children will increase your peace of mind.
True pleasure is a serious business. As the Romans said it “Res severa est verum gaudium”