Sometimes We Forget About Safety Around Hot Tubs
Hot tubs and spas are a popular retreat for many and why not? There is nothing in the world like the sensations one receives while enjoying a hot tub: Soothing heat, hydrotherapy massage, that “melting away” sensation that allows one’s mind to relax no matter what kind of a day you’ve had.
For many, a hot tub can be a respite from the pain of arthritis or sports injuries. For others a social centerpiece for their home, and for still others, a private escape and maybe all of the above.
It’s sometimes hard to even think about the safety aspects of your hot tub because so many good feelings are enjoyed there. But sometimes it’s the good feelings that might let us forget about certain safety issues. If you own a hot tub now or are considering buying a hot tub, this list of hot tub safety items can help us all be aware and reminded that safety is important around hot tubs.
- Avoid Falls! Water is slippery and makes for slippery surfaces. Make sure that you have a good safe method for entering and exiting your hot tub. You should have steps that allow you to gain easy access to your hot tub. The best way to enter however is by using the steps until you can comfortably sit on the edge of the hot tub and then swing your legs over and into it. The same method should be used for exiting. Trying to walk up steps that do not have a handrail and then walk down into the tub is asking for trouble. The seated position is best for all entry’s and exits. It is not uncommon for one to experience slight dizziness upon completion of a hot tub experience. Sit on the side until you feel steady before exiting the tub. ALWAYS watch and assist elderly guests who may not be accustomed to the feelings of heaviness that comes from re-entry into the atmosphere. Let them take their time when entering and exiting and be sure they are supported.
- Heat: When is Your Hot Tub Too Hot? The maximum safe temperature for a hot tub is 104 degrees. Keep in mind however what is happening to your body when you are soaking in water at that temperature: it is raising your core body temperature. Because of this, it’s a good idea to limit your stay in a hot tub at max temperature to 15 minutes or less. As the core temperature of your body goes up, you can experience fever like symptoms: aching, weakness, dizziness and chills because you actually DO have a temperature over normal. This can contribute to weakness and dizziness when exiting the tub. It never hurts to spend a few moments sitting on the edge to cool down before actually exiting the hot tub. If you want to enjoy longer soaks, set the hot tub temperature closer to body temp. Many people enjoy using their hot tub best at temperatures around 100 degrees. You get all of the benefits of hydrotherapy, but can enjoy your soak longer without feeling overwhelmed when you are ready to leave the hot tub.
- Children: Hot Tub Safety For Children Children are of special concern in the hot tub because they see it as a little pool, which it is. But they need to know early on not to go underwater in the hot tub. Suction fittings located near the bottom can entrap hair etc. Heat is especially a factor with children as well. Keep temps on the lower side, if children will be using the hot tub. Horseplay should never be allowed.Never let kids use a hot tub unsupervised. Keep spa covers on when the hot tub is not in use, and use locking mechanisms on cover latches . Spa covers need to be removed completely before letting kids use the hot tub.
- Water Quality: Hot Tub Water Chemistry IS Important. Your spa should not be used if there is any doubt that it is sanitary. The temperatures that are maintained in hot tubs are perfect as a breeding ground for bacteria. Ozone and mineral purifiers are good and greatly reduce the amount of chlorine necessary for sanitation, but backup chlorination is essential as well, specially when anticipating high bather loads like for a party. Add chlorine before any such event and plan to drain afterwards. Pimple like rashes are caused by bacteria being injected into the pores by the jets. This will not happen in a properly sanitized hot tub. When preparing to use your hot tub, always remove the cover and allow it to run on high speed for a few minutes so that any chemicals, including ozone, can gas off before you enjoy your soak.
- Electrical Safety: Hot Tub Electrical Safety. Keep all electrical items, lamps, fans, radios, tvs, etc at least 5 feet away from the hot tub. They should only be plugged in to a GFCI protected outlet. Be sure that your hot tub is wired by an electrician following the electrical standards in the NEC. Have the wiring job inspected to be sure that it has been done correctly. Anything metal within a 5 foot reach path of the hot tub should be bonded with a number 8 wire to the hot tub equpment bond lug. This includes screen enclosures, AC units, metal fences etc. Do not touch any electrical appliance with wet feet and wet hands. Children need to be instructed of these dangers as well.
There really is nothing better than having your own personal hot tub retreat, but staying safe around your hot tub, both for you and your guests is vital.
Thinking of buying a hot tub? Check with the experts at HydroPro Sales, hot tub experts extraordinaire. They are located in the Tampa Bay Area, and can help advise you on any hot tub or hot tub parts purchase.