Hot Tub Safety with Children - Are Hot Tubs Safe for Children

Once your children realise how much you enjoy using your hot tub, you can be sure that they will want to join in as well. However, it is important that you impress upon them exactly what they can and cannot do in and around your home hot tub.

Although using a hot tub or spa can both enhance your health and allow you to relax and reduce tension, it will not be very relaxing for you if you have to constantly watch your children and prevent them coming to any harm in your hot tub.

Hot Tub Rules for Children

Never allow children, or adults for that matter, to run around the tub, as it is quite easy to slip or fall and get hurt. It is not uncommon to hear of children falling into a hot tub and drowning so it is important to ensure that your child knows how to get out of the hot tub in case of an accident.

Another important rule is not to allow children to use the hot tub unsupervised. Even if you allow them to go in by themselves, be sure that you can see what is going on at all times and also be in a position to react quickly should the need arise.

Make it a rule that whoever uses the hot tub last should cover it up and always use a cover when the hot tub is not in use. This will help prevent anybody accidentally falling into the hot tub should they slip or trip.

If your children have long hair, it must always be tied up close to the head or covered with a bathing cap. It is very easy for long hair to get caught in the return thus sucking the child to the bottom making it difficult to escape. Indeed, many children have been drowned in this way.

Ducking under the water should also be made a definite no, not only because of the problem associated with the return but also because of microorganisms, which can flourish even in the most well maintained hot tubs. Ducking the head beneath the water can expose the eyes, ears and upper respiratory tract to these resistant germs which in turn can cause infection and illness

All parts of the body must be kept away from the water return at all times. A hand, or other part of the body can easily become entrapped by the suction which can keep the head pulled under water leading to drowning.

It is important that strict limits are placed on the time that children are allowed to stay in the hot tub. The smaller bodies of children will heat up faster than adults which can raise their internal body temperatures to dangerous or even fatal levels very quickly. Actual allowable time will be dependant on the temperature of the water.

If you have fencing securing the hot tub area, this must be kept secure at all times. In fact, if you treat a hot tub as a swimming pool, the same safety rules apply. A cover is not enough to slow down active children before you get to them.

Children must be tall enough to stand on the bottom of the spa or hot tub with their heads completely out of the water before they may even be considered for hot tub use. Maturity and body size must also be taken into account before you allow them in. If in doubt, check with your doctor first about whether your child is ready.

A hot tub is not a swimming pool and it has additional dangers posed by its design and intent. Entrapment, injury or a rise in body temperature can all happen when children are allowed to "play" in hot tubs. So, make it a rule that there should be no splashing or vigorous play of any kind is allowed when in the hot tub.


From Marjie Shadwick

I am making a new sign for the hot tub rules and was told that children can become sterile by using one and that sometimes can cause blindness. Is this true if anyone knows and has evidense please let me know.

Reply to Marjie

I can't say that I have come across any evidence of children becoming sterile or the use of a hot tub causing blindness.

However, it is true that there is bacteria and other organisms that can flourish in hot tub water which can lead to various infections and illness. This is the reason that children (and adults for that matter) should refrain from ducking their heads under the water. By doing so, the water, sanitizing chemicals and any bacteria/micro organisms can get into the eyes, ears and nose. Even in well maintained hot tubs, water bourne infections are a very real risk.

Take a look at this article about Hot Tub Health Issues

Hot tub waters that are not so well maintained or those found in hotels and keep fit premises can pose an even bigger risk due to the number of people that could have used the tub over a given period.

Folliculitis is an infection that can be picked up from a hot tub. The symptoms of this infection are redness and pus-filled blisters which will require medical treatment. Another is Legionnaires' Disease which is a very serious condition that can also prove fatal. It is a form of pneumonia which is easily transmitted through the spray which is inhaled.

The other warning I would give in relationship to children is the water temperature and the length of time in the tub. The core body temperature of children will increase a lot quicker than adults and they can easily overheat and/or dehydrate. Length of time in the tub depends on the actual water temperature but 15 to 20 minutes should be the absolute maximum time allowed.

From Madeyln

My neighbors have two young children and they are always concerned about the time they spend in the grandparents hot tub. The youngest has breathing issues and both have stated that the grandparents use chemicals while they are there and at least once when they were in the tub. Of course the mother is freaked out and should be.

The temperature alone can harm the children and heat up their insides. It is proven to take a short period of time in children because their bodies are so small. People should have more sense when owning a hot tub.

Regular maintenance and inspections by a certified technician should be routine. In some cases, sterility has been a concern because of the temperature, time in the water, and damage from chemicals. I suggest the grandparents of these children do some research before they harm these children. I do not allow our child in our hot tub.

I do not believe hot tubs are intended for children. They should not have stressful and tense days or aching muscles and need the relaxation of a hot tub.

From Michael

What is the safe temperature for children and the length of time they are in it?

From Cecil Taylor

I have 6 yrs old Grandson whom I want to allow to use my Hottub. I've been told that I need to be concerned with causing him to become sterilized by the hot temperatures of the water, is this so? And if so, what temperature should I maintain the tub's water for his safety? Thank you very much!

From Kim

My daughters doctor told me about posibilities of children becoming sterile if they are in hot tubs over a certain temperature (sorry forget exact number) so better safe than sorry ….. no hot tub for her.