Most hot tub owners, whether new or longtime owners, couldn’t imagine life without one. Whether it’s used for fitness and wellness purposes, or as part of a maintenance regimen for those with an active lifestyle, or maybe it’s just as a relaxing part of the regular day. Hot tubs can quickly become part of the everyday life of a family. Although owning and using a hot tub is child’s play for adults, it can be a little bit more complicated for the younger members of the family.
This blog post is all about how to keep the hot tub safe for children who might be around or in the tub, and aims to provide some ideas for how to make the hot tub experience fun for the whole family.
Before getting into how to use the hot tub safely, let’s talk about the safety aspects when it’s not being used. The first thing to think about when it comes to children and hot tubs is access. Children should never be allowed near the hot tub when they are not being supervised. Children running around on the potentially wet surfaces surrounding a hot tub or climbing on the hot tub cover are accidents waiting to happen. So, have strict rules about when it is ok to be in the hot tub area, and how to conduct yourself in that area.
In addition to making sure kids aren’t playing near the hot tub, it’s important to make sure that the tub is secured with a locking hot tub cover. Kids might not understand when they can be in the tub and when not. The simplest of locks can be the difference between safety and danger for the young ones. All hot tub covers come with new locks, it is imperative that homes with children have good functioning locks on their hot tub covers. The next point is that you use the locks. So many hot tub owners do not use the locks provided and that is a recipe for disaster.
Hot Tub Temperature
Once you start using the tub with the kids, the two main things to pay attention to are temperature and time. Most hot tubs are set to a default maximum 104°F, which is much too hot for children to use safely. Children, being smaller, have a much harder time dealing with sudden temperature changes than adults do. Also, because of their still developing cardiovascular systems they are more prone to suffer heat exhaustion and dehydration when using a hot tub. If children are going to be using the tub, it should be set to a maximum temperature of 100°F and 98°F would be even safer.
Once the temperature is set properly, make sure that the children aren’t spending too long in the tub at one time. No more than 20 minutes at a time in the tub, with at least 10 minutes out of it is the recommendation for kids under 12. It is also very important to make sure they are drinking enough water to stay hydrated. That goes for you as well. It’s very easy to become dehydrated when having fun in the hot tub, and that can quickly lead to heat stroke or other related problems.
Hot Tub Supervision
The final safety precaution necessary if children are going to be using your hot tub they must do it with supervision. It’s plain common sense that kids shouldn’t use a hot tub, or any pool, without adult supervision. It’s important to be very specific here, about what is meant by supervision. If the children are in the hot tub, there needs to be an adult in the tub with them. The adult needs to be actively engaged with the children. Being in the same vicinity as the hot tub and “keeping an eye” on them is not enough – especially in the smart phone era, when endless distraction sits in everyone’s pocket. It only takes a second for an accident to happen and a distracted adult can do more harm than good in a situation like that.
Hot Tub Chemicals
There are many ways to keep your hot tub fresh and clean and safe for your children to use. There are some chemicals that are more corrosive then others and based on the sensitivity of your young one you may be required to use one product over another. Chlorine is the easiest of all the chemicals to take care of your hot tub, however it is very corrosive and children and adults alike are affected by its strength. In this case, you can look at Bromine or even enzyme products. Both options are less abrasive to your skin. No matter what you use it is a good Idea to shower off after a hot tub to remove the chemical residue.
Fun and Games
Now that the safety side of things is taken care of, it’s time for the fun. There are plenty of games and activities that make the most of your hot tub. Waterproof playing cards and board games can make a soak in the hot tub fun for any age. Common family additions to the hot tub also include floating basketball nets and floating toys that can be used in any number of games from keep away to Marco Polo.
It’s a good idea to make sure there are a variety of things for the kids to do, both in and out of the hot tub. This encourages them not to spend too long in the tub at one time, and makes for a more interesting and enjoyable day. If you have both a hot tub and a swimming pool, activities than can move from one to the other are a great idea. In the evening, you can set up a portable projector and sound system (if your hot tub doesn’t have them already) and have a hot tub movie night. The best way to encourage fun and safe hot tubbing for the under-age crowd is to make sure that the hot tub is only one part of a larger set of activities.
Hot tubs can be fun for the whole family provided they are used sensibly and with an eye to safety. Controlling access to the tub with a hot tub cover that locks and making sure it is used with the appropriate time, temperature, and supervision will help keep everyone safe. Providing a variety of activities that can happen both in and out of the hot tub will make sure that everyone has a great time. With that in mind, have fun introducing your young ones to the relaxing hot tub lifestyle.
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