Hot tubs can provide a relaxing experience for adults, but can be dangerous for children. A child is especially vulnerable to the heat of a hot tub, and drowning and infection risks are also present. Before letting your child use a hot tub, be sure that he is old enough and familiarize yourself with safety precautions.
Babycenter states that children under the age of 5 years should not use hot tubs. This is because young children can overheat more quickly than adults. Your child should also be tall enough to stand in the center of the hot tub and still keep her head above the water to help prevent drowning.
If your child is old enough to be in a hot tub, you still need to prevent him from becoming overheated. If he is overheated, his heart may begin to race. High temperatures can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, heat stroke or death. Keep the temperature in the hot tub below 104 degrees Fahrenheit, and do not allow your child to be in the hot tub without adult supervision.
High temperatures promote the growth of bacteria. An earful of the water can lead to an ear infection, especially if your child is already prone to them. To help prevent ear infections, be sure that she does not fully submerge her head in the water while in a hot tub.
If your child has long hair, it can get caught or sucked into the grate or suction fitting covering the hot tub drain. This can hold his head under water and cause him to drown. Closely supervise your child in the hot tub, and make sure your hot tub comes with a drain cover following the voluntary standard set by the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Consumer Reports suggests that you cover your hot tub when it is not in use to prevent your child from using it when you are not able to supervise. You may want to put a self-locking gate around it to prevent younger children from playing near the hot tub. Have a professional regularly check your hot tub to be sure that it is in good working condition and that any drain covers are securely in place.