Although children are more commonly associated with romping around in a swimming pool, some, like adults, enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot tub. While these relaxation devices do not often come with an age limit attached, parents should exercise caution when allowing their children to use them. By carefully determining whether or not your child is ready to use a hot tub and monitoring him from the moment he steps in to the second he exits, you can reduce the likelihood that your child’s hot tub experience ends badly.
When’s the Right Time?
Many children see the bubbling waters of a hot tub and are eager to take a dip; however, you should be careful when deciding whether or not to allow this. As MayoClinic.com reports, very young children should generally not use hot tubs, as they do pose potential health risks. This source recommends that you not allow your child to use a hot tub until he is tall enough to stand in the middle of the tub with his head above water. Using this rule of thumb may make deciding whether your child is ready a bit less of a guessing game.
Potential of Overheating
One of the key risks that accompany child hot tub use is the risk of overheating. Because children are smaller, they are more prone to overheating than adults. When children are using hot tubs, parents should monitor them closely and watch for signs of potential overheating. These signs include profuse sweating, lethargy and reddening of the skin. If you notice any of these signs in your young hot tub user, it is time for him to exit the water.
As KeepKidsHealthy reports, the shallow nature of hot tubs do not make them any less of a drowning risk. This source states that since 1980 more than 700 hot-tub-related drowning deaths have been recorded by the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Approximately one-third of those drowning deaths included children under 5. To ensure that your child is safe while using the hot tub, never leave him unattended in one.
Ear Infection Risks
While using a hot tub may seem wholly unconnected to the health of your child’s ears, some hot tub behavior can put your tot at a greater risk for infections, reports MayoClinic.com. Because the water that fills a hot tub is warm, it is perfect for bacterial growth. When children duck their heads under water in a hot tub, this potentially bacteria-infected water invades their ear cavities and can lead to ear infection. To prevent this problem, parents should never allow their children to submerge their heads in hot tubs.
Keeping Kids Hot Tub Safe
While hot tubs can pose danger, you can prevent these risks with some simple practices. Parents should always monitor their children while they are in and around hot tubs to ensure that their children engage in safe practices around these bodies of water. They should also keep hot tubs covered when the tub is not being used and secure the areas around hot tubs by surrounding them with lockable gates to ensure that their child’s curiosity doesn’t lead them to hot-tub-related danger.