Safety Guidelines for Hot Tubs
As a spa or hot tub owner, you may be legally liable for the safety of all persons who use your facility. You have the ultimate responsibility. Be sure your insurance policy is updated to include ownership of your spa or hot tub.
But, facing ownership responsibilities does not mean taking the fun out
of using your spa or hot tub. If you know about safety practices and
use good judgment, you will find that the benefits of a spa or hot tub
can far outweigh the risks. Here are some guidelines for using your spa
or hot tub.
Supervision is a key element in getting maximum, safe enjoyment from
your spa or hot tub. One individual must assume primary responsibility
for supervising the spa or hot tub. The supervisor must be thoroughly
familiar with all facets of the safe operation and maintenance of the
spa or hot tub. He or she will take responsibility for communicating
safety information to all persons who enter the spa or hot tub area. It
is a good idea to designate a back up for times when the primary
supervisor is unavailable.
The supervisor is responsible for enforcing "house rules" for your spa
or hot tub. Draw up these rules from information here and other
information from the manufacture or dealer. These rules should cover
such things as the length of time allowed for a soak, consumption of
alcoholic beverages, maintenance, use of electrical appliances and the
handling of chemicals. Establish rules immediately. Write them in
simple language and post them where they are easy to see, near the spa
or hot tub. Use the safety information you are given to develop your
These rules should be
clearly communicated to and understood by all persons, young and old,
who use your spa or hot tub. Most importantly, consistently enforce
these rules. Never leave the spa or hot tub unsupervised. When
supervision is not available, even for a moment, close the spa or hot
It makes sense to pay
special attention to educating young children about safety precautions.
Teach your children about equipment maintenance and proper upkeep of
the spa or hot tub. As they get older, your children will learn from
your example that they must respect the spa or hot tub and surrounding
area, and act responsibly.
It also makes sense for the supervisor and other responsible family
members to be trained in artificial respiration and/or cardiopulmonary
resuscitation (CPR). Instruction is available from local community
Soaking in your spa or hot tub is relaxing, warm and wonderful. The hot
water soothes your body and rejuvenates your spirits. But that same hot
water holds some potential dangers.
Persons with heart
disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure or any serious illness,
and pregnant women-indeed persons with any doubt-should not enter a spa
or hot tub with out prior consultation with their doctor.
Before entering, look at the water in your spa or hot tub. If there is
cloudiness or foaming, or if a "locker room" or strong chlorine smell
is present, the water needs treatment. Soaking in such water greatly
increases your chances of getting a skin rash (pseudomonas). Be sure to
maintain the water properly. Ask your spa or hot tub professional for
People with skin, ear,
genital or other body infections, open sores or wounds should not use
the spa or hot tub because of the possibility of spreading infection.
Shower with soap and
water before and after using the spa or hot tub. Showering before use
washes away many of the common skin bacteria, and removes lotions,
deodorants, creams, etc. Perspiration and lotions will reduce the
effectiveness of the disinfectant and lesson the ability of the filter
to work efficiently.
temperatures can elevate your body temperature of your internal organs
beyond safe limits. (It's almost like having a fever.) It is
recommended that maximum water temperature never exceed 104 degrees
Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).
Soaking too long makes
some people nauseous, dizzy, lightheaded or faint. Don't soak for more
than 15 minutes at one sitting in 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees
Celsius) water. If you wish to soak for a longer period of time in high
temperatures, leave the spa or hot tub after 15 minutes, shower, cool
down and then return for another brief stay. In lower temperatures
(e.g., 98.6 degrees - normal body temperature), most people can
comfortably and safely soak for longer periods at one sitting. If you
have any questions about what's right for you and your family, consult
with your doctor.
Never use the spa or hot tub when you're alone.
Never use a spa or hot tub while or after using alcohol. Alcohol acts
to expand your blood vessels and increase your body temperature- much
like soaking in hot water does. Alcohol in your bloodstream and soaking
at the same time creates a combined effect that can be damaging. The
body temperature may accelerate to dangerous levels quickly. The
alcohol may cause nausea, dizziness or lightheadedness. The ultimate
danger of combined alcohol consumption and hot water soaking is
drowning due to loss of consciousness, heart attack or injury due to
passing out and falling.
As with alcohol, the
combined use of certain prescribed medicines and hot water soaking can
be dangerous. Never use a spa or hot tub while or after using narcotics
or other drugs that may cause sleepiness, drowsiness or raise or lower
blood pressure. With any drug or medication, consult with your doctor
about potential harmful effects from combined use of the drug and hot
water soaking. Never use a spa or hot tub if you are under the
influence of drugs.
It is best not to soak immediately after eating a heavy meal.
Keep an accurate thermometer in the spa or hot tub at all times to
monitor the water temperature. Be sure you check the water temperature
before and while in the spa or hot tub.
Do not try to adjust
or touch equipment such as pumps, heaters or electrical appliances
while you are in the spa or hot tub, or while standing in water, unless
designed as such and recommended by the manufacturer.
Enter the spa or hot
tub slowly and cautiously. Be careful of your footing, and allow your
body to gradually get used to the water temperature. Leave slowly as
well, because your leg muscles may be sufficiently relaxed to make you
a bit unsteady, and you may become lightheaded.
Never allow children
to use the spa or hot tub unsupervised. Children enjoy playing in water
and may not understand the risk involved in too much exposure.
Discretion is advised in allowing children to use spas and hot tubs at
all, since their young bodies may not adjust well to the high
temperatures. If in doubt, check with your doctor.
If young children will be using your spa or hot tub, explain to them
that they cannot under any circumstances dive or jump into it. While a
spa or hot tub may seem large and deep to a child, it is not designed
for jumping, diving or underwater swimming.
Your spa or hot tub is an excellent place to relax your cares away. It
is also good for "warming up" with simple flexibility exercises. These
exercises are easier in water because water effectively lessens the
pull of gravity on your body. Be aware of the weakening effect of hot
water and don't overdue it. If you wish to exercise in your spa or hot
tub, lower the temperature to 80 degrees.
Before beginning any exercise program, consult your physician. Use good
judgment in monitoring your own exercise and supervising others who
exercise in your spa or hot tub.
Your spa or hot tub can be the focal point for happy entertaining. Plan
ahead to prevent accidents and injuries, and make your entertaining
Your family and guest
are likely to be intrigued by your new spa or hot tub. Before they go
in - and especially if it is their first time in a hot water facility -
explain the safety precautions. Point out how to enter it and where the
seats are located.
Food and drink play an
important part in your entertaining. Establish an area away from the
spa or hot tub for refreshments to prevent accidental slips or falls
caused by spills near the spa or tub on the deck, and to prevent debris
from falling into the facility.
More likely than not
your guest will be barefooted while near the spa or hot tub. Use only
unbreakable dishes, beverage containers and utensils. Never use glass
anywhere near the spa or hot tub. Broken glass is invisible in water
and extremely difficult to get out of the support system.
appliances a significant distance from the spa or hot tub. Don't use
extension cords. Use a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) on any
appliance that must be near the spa or hot tub. Where possible, use
battery operated appliances around the spa or hot tub. Electrocution
from appliances and telephones in contact with water is a real danger.
If you use your spa or hot tub at night, provide adequate lighting around the facility.
Alcohol consumption and spa and hot tub activities do not mix. Alcohol
acts as a depressant. It can "slow you down" because it affects the
part of the brain, which exercises restraint and control. Alcohol can
instill false courage or "bravado," leading people to try things they
normally would not. Therefore, persons who have been drinking alcohol
should not be allowed in the spa or hot tub, and should be carefully
supervised in the surrounding area.
medications sometimes cause drowsiness or have other side effects. If
you are taking prescription medicine, check with your doctor before
using the spa or hot tub.
Never allow anyone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs to go into the spa or hot tub.
Do not allow running on the deck or area around the spa or hot tub, as
injuries may occur from slips and falls.
If your spa or hot tub is out doors, stay out of it during lighting or
rainstorms, because of the possibility of electrocution from the
lightning hitting the water. You have the bottom line responsibility in entertaining. Use good judgment to Spa Drowning Prevention Tips
Drowning prevention information is not "for someone else." It is for
you. Because only by increased awareness and effort can we reduce some
very alarming statistics. Drowning is one of the largest causes of
accidental death for American infants five and under.
Children are naturally attracted to spas and hot tubs. To prevent
drowning and other serious injuries, you must keep children away from
spas and hot tubs in the absence of adequate supervision. Here are some
safety tips that can help save young lives.
Never leave a child
alone out of eye contact supervision in or near the spa or hot tub -
not even for a second.
Remove vegetation and other obstacles to assure a clear view of the spa or hot tub from the house.
Make certain that all doors leading from the house to the spa or hot
tub area are kept shut and latched. Make sure any latches or doorknobs
are above the reach of toddlers to protect against unauthorized entry
and use. Limit access to the spa or hot tub by locking doors or gates
whenever soaking cannot be supervised.
A fence, wall or natural barrier shall completely enclose your spa or hot tub.
If you use a spa or hot tub cover, carefully read the manufacturer's
directions for safe use. Always completely remove the cover before
using your spa or hot tub. Drain any standing water from the surface of
your spa or hot tub cover (e.g., by using a water pump). Even a small
amount of water may be sufficient for an infant or small child to
drown. Be especially alert for potential drowning accidents if you use
any lightweight, floating spa or hot tub covers. These are not safety
covers and no one should walk or crawl on them.
Do not place objects
(e.g., chairs or tables) near the spa or hot tub fence that could allow
a youngster to climb over.
Never use a spa or hot tub if any of the grate outlets are missing or broken to avoid body entrapment.
Keep toys, particularly tricycles or wheel toys, away from in ground
spas or hot tubs. A child playing with these could accidentally fall
into the water.
Do not allow anyone of any age to soak without a; spotter" nearby.
Examples of good safety behavior by adults are important for young
Do not permit playful screaming for help (false alarms), which might mask a real emergency.
Never consider young children water-safe despite their swimming skills,
previous instruction or experience. 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.
Find out some tips and secrets about your hot tub / spa as well as how to fix some common problems.
Help protect yourself, your family and guest. If you are unsure of any
person's condition or abilities, prohibit them from using your spa or
hot tub. Remember, you are in charge of your facility.