As May is National Water Safety Month, we want to take a minute to continue with water safety tips & reminders - today, focusing on Hot Tub Water Safety. Hot tubs are very intriguing to young kids - warm water with jets, bubbles, water falls, lights and music - what more could a kid ask for!?? However, hot tubs can be an accident waiting to happen. If you have a hot tub in your backyard, or are visiting a friend or vacationing somewhere with a hot tub, keep these safety guidelines in mind:
- Make sure to keep the water temperature below 100 degrees for small children - kids are more susceptible to dehydration, over-heating, and heat-related illness; their body temperature simply cannot adjust to the hot water temperatures in the same manner an adults' can.
- Limit time in the hot tub to 10 minutes or less and watch your kids - if their face begins to turn red or they complain of nausea or dizziness, take them out of the hot tub immediately and apply a cold compress to their forehead.
- Keep the jets off while small children are enjoying the water. Although the bubbles are enticing, the jets cause currents, and depending on the hot tub, these currents can become very strong and be dangerous for kids, forcing them to lose their balance or not be able to get their head above the water. Bubbles from the hot tub jets also drastically reduce visibility in the hot tub, not allowing you to see what may be happening under the surface of the water.
- When the hot tub is not in use, make sure to secure the cover with a latch that locks or cover clips - also, ensure you are utilizing a hard top cover.
- Find a way to prevent your kids from using the hot tub controls - once they discover how to turn the jets on, they will, whether you are there to supervise or not.
- To defend against entrapment, ensure the hot tub has a VGB compliant drain cover and make sure to inspect the drain cover regularly to ensure it is in place and is not broken.
Enjoy your summer trips / vacations - just remember your water safety!