Hot tubs offer a luxurious and relaxing way to unwind, soothe sore muscles, and spend quality time with friends and family. However, safety should always be a top priority when using a hot tub to ensure a worry-free and enjoyable experience. In this blog, we’ll explore essential hot tub safety tips that will help you make the most of your hydrotherapy while minimizing potential risks.
The recent death of “Friends” star Mathew Perry has highlighted the need to present hot tub safety as this is not something that is focused on unlike swimming pools. We hope to raise awareness and bring hot tub safety to the forefront.
One of the fundamental aspects of hot tub safety is ensuring that your spa is well-maintained. Regularly inspect your hot tub for any signs of wear and tear, and follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines. Keep the water clean and balanced, and sanitize it as needed to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria such as Legionnaires Disease. Be sure not to overtreat the water as chemicals can cause burns and irritation to the skin.
Hot tubs are meant to be hot, but excessive heat can lead to dehydration, dizziness, and even heat exhaustion. Most experts recommend keeping the water temperature between 100°F and 104°F (37.8°C to 40°C). Ensure you have a functioning thermostat and avoid overheating the water, especially in extreme weather conditions. Do not use the hot tub on hot days as this could lead to an emergency situation.
Limit Soak Time
While soaking in a hot tub is incredibly relaxing, it’s important not to overdo it. Prolonged exposure to hot water can lead to overheating and other health issues. Limit your soak time to 15-45 minutes at a time, and take breaks to cool down and hydrate.
Hot tubs can cause your body to lose fluids through sweating, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Have a water bottle nearby and sip on water regularly while soaking. Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine, as they can contribute to dehydration.
Dangers of Soaking for Too Long
The best way to determine how long is too long to stay in the hot tub is to read the signals your body sends you. Some signs of danger to look for include the following:
Dizziness or Light-Headedness
If you begin to feel dizzy or lightheaded at any point while you are soaking, it may be a warning sign that your body is hotter than you think. Get out and cool down for 15 minutes or so.
Most people don’t recognize the signs of overheating until the condition has progressed to the point of physical illness. However, you can prevent your body from reaching that point by knowing for what signs to look. Some early signs of overheating include the following:
- Tingling sensation in the skin
- Fatigue or weakness
- An increased or decreased heart rate
- Sweating profusely or not sweating at all
If you notice any of these signs, get out of the tub and into a cool, dry area immediately. Drink water and pay attention to your body. If your symptoms progress, call 911.
Decrease in Blood Pressure
Unless you keep a blood pressure monitor on you at all times, it may be difficult to know if you are experiencing a dip in blood pressure. However, just like when it begins to overheat, your body will send out warning signals when your blood pressure starts to dive. In fact, many of the symptoms are the same as those associated with overheating:
- Blurred vision
- Inability to concentrate
Warning signs of extreme hypotension include confusion, rapid, shallow breathing, and weak or rapid pulse. If you notice any signs of decreased blood pressure, extreme or not, get out of the hot tub immediately.
Nausea and Vomiting
Sometimes intense heat can cause nausea and vomiting that is not related to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. That said, even if you don’t suspect the symptoms are signs of heatstroke, nausea would be another one of the body’s signs indicating you should remove yourself from the spa and drink plenty of cool fluids.
Don’t Soak Alone
Never use a hot tub alone, especially if you have health concerns or are taking medications that may affect your ability to react to changes in temperature. Having a buddy with you can provide assistance in case of emergencies.
If you have children, make sure they are always under close supervision while in or near the hot tub. Children can overheat quickly, and their smaller bodies may not regulate temperature as effectively as adults. Consider using safety covers or locks to prevent unsupervised access.
Know Your Health
Before using a hot tub, be aware of your own health conditions and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary. Pregnant women, people with heart problems, or those with certain medical conditions may need to avoid hot tubs or limit their exposure.
Shower Before and After
Encourage all hot tub users to shower before entering the water to remove oils, lotions, and contaminants from their skin. This can help maintain water quality and prevent skin irritations. After your soak, shower to rinse off any chemicals or bacteria that may have adhered to your skin.
Keep safety equipment, such as a first-aid kit and a phone, nearby in case of emergencies. Make sure everyone using the hot tub knows how to use these items if necessary.
Know Emergency Procedures
Familiarize yourself and your hot tub guests with emergency procedures, including what to do in the event of an injury or sudden illness. Ensure everyone knows where the shut-off valve is to quickly turn off the hot tub in case of an emergency.
Enjoying a hot tub is a fantastic way to relax and rejuvenate, but it’s essential to prioritize safety. By following these hot tub safety tips, you can ensure that your hot tub experience remains enjoyable and risk-free. Remember that safety should always come first, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the soothing waters with peace of mind.