Hot tubs are well known for being a place where family and friends can gather. But there are obvious safety concerns, especially when it comes to the younger members of your social circle. What age can a child get in a hot tub is a question often asked by those responsible for infants or young children. To answer that question, as well as to remind people about the importance of safety when it comes to children and hot tubs, we’ve put together this article.
What Age Can A Child Get in A Hot Tub?
The general consensus is that five years old is the minimum age for any child using a hot tub. Any younger than that greatly increases the chances of scalding or overheating. Children younger than the age of five have much thinner skin than older people and this can quickly lead to scalding of the skin at temperatures normally associated with a hot tub. Young children don’t have fully developed thermoregulation abilities which means their bodies can overheat if subjected to hot tub temperatures.
It should go without saying, but children should not be allowed in or around any type of body of water without strict adult supervision. An unattended hot tub should be covered and locked to prevent unwanted access. It’s also important for hot tub owners who don’t have children to understand that young children are naturally attracted to water and efforts need to be made to prevent it from being easily accessible.
Even if a child is five year old or older, they should be tall enough to be able to stand on the bottom of the hot tub and have their mouth and nose comfortably reach above the water line. This height requirement should be obeyed even if the child is wearing a flotation device or is able to swim. The high temperatures and other unique features of a hot tub mean that the ability to swim or float may not be enough to prevent an accident.
Full Body Immersion
Young children should be prevented from fully immersing themselves in the hot tub water. This will reduce the risk of overheating. Have the child sit on the edge of the hot tub or on a children’s seat to keep the top half of their body out of the water. Keeping their head out of the water will also prevent the possibility of eye or ear infections.
If you do have young children using your hot tub, you should turn down the water temperature. Most hot tubs max out at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) but because this is above normal internal body temperatures, it can quickly cause a dangerous temperature spike in children. Reducing the water temperature to 36C (98F) can lessen the chances of a child overheating.
Becoming dehydrated while using a hot tub is a problem for both adults and children, but it can happen more quickly at younger ages. Ensure water is drunk before, during and after using a hot tub. Keep an eye on kids for any signs of nausea, dizziness or lethargy.
One of the major causes of death in children is drowning. And because hot tubs have powerful water pumps, there can be an extra risk of hair or body parts being sucked into a drain and holding a person underwater. Anyone using the hot tub should know where the hot tub kill switch is and how to operate it in case of emergency.
To find out more about hot tub safety and hot tubs in general, download a free buyer’s guide below today, or visit us at our hot tub store.