What Age Can a Child Get in a Hot Tub?

Hot tubs are often associated with adults, college aged kids and teenagers. But what about children? Is there an age limit for hot tub use? And if there is, what age can a child get in a hot tub? Of course, children and water can make for a dangerous mix. And it can become even more dangerous when the water is superheated. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In an effort to emphasize the importance of hot tub safety, we’ve put together a list of guidelines concerning children and hot tub use.

What Age Can A Child Get in A Hot Tub?

The universally accepted age limit for hot tub use is five years old. Children younger than five don’t have properly developed thermoregulation mechanisms that allow their bodies to deal with higher temperatures. Infants especially, have very thin skin that can allow them to overheat very quickly. For these reasons, children under five should not be allowed to use a hot tub at all.

Supervision

Any time kids are around any type of body of water, they should be supervised by a grown up. It doesn’t take long for an accident to happen around water and without proper supervision, an accident can quickly turn tragic. Hot tubs should always be kept covered and locked when not in use to prevent unwanted access by curious kids. If you’re the owner of a hot tub, even if you don’t have children, you should consider erecting a childproof fence around it. It may, in fact, be required by local law.

Drowning

Drowning is one of the most common causes of death among young children. And hot tubs have some qualities that make them especially dangerous for the young. Not only can the high water temperatures lead to fainting, the power of the water pump can suck long hair or small body parts into the drain or filters. For this reason it’s important that children remain above water at all times. This can also help prevent infections in young ears and eyes.

Water Temperatures for Children

Because the maximum temperature of most hot tubs (40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit) is higher than the average body temperature, spending time in a hot tub can quickly cause the internal body temperature to climb to dangerous levels – especially in young children. To prevent this from occurring, turn the water temperature down to 36C (98F.) It’s also wise to limit children’s time in the hot tub to five minute intervals before having them get out and cool off. This will greatly decrease their chances of overheating.

Hydration

Dehydration can be a significant problem among hot tub users of all ages. But it is especially problematic with children. Ensure that they drink plenty of liquids before and after spending time in the hot tub. And if they appear sleepy, nauseous or dizzy while using the hot tub, get them out of the water immediately.

Minimum Height

Children who are using the hot tub should be tall enough to be able to stand on the hot tub floor with their mouth and nose completely above water. Even if they can swim or are wearing a flotation device, the hot tub features different conditions that make abiding by this minimum height rule important.

Full Body Immersion

Again, because children’s bodies aren’t able to thermoregulate as well as an adult, full body immersion in a hot tub should be avoided. Having the child sit on the edge or on a seat that allows the top half of their body to remain out of the water greatly reduces the chances of overheating.

Now that you’ve learned some more about age limits when it comes to hot tub use, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

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