People often ask, can babies go in hot tubs? Many parents have questions about whether or not it is safe for their little ones to go in hot tubs.
Can a Baby Go in a Hot Tub?
The answer is a resounding NO! Babies under two years of age should never be in a spa. In fact, medical professionals and safety bodies recommend that children under five are not allowed in hot tubs.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the risks associated with putting babies in hot tubs and explain why they should stay out. Keep reading to learn more!
Soaking in the bubbles of an inflatable hot tub is a fantastic way to relax after a hard day at work and there are lots of benefits of a jacuzzi for adults whilst still providing great fun for children. But unfortunately, that is not the case for infants and toddlers. Below are some reasons why babies shouldn’t go in a hot tub:
The recommended bath water temperature for babies is 37 degrees, so the high temperature of a hot tub is not suitable for their delicate skin. An infant’s or baby’s skin is much thinner than an adult’s, so it can easily burn.
Plus, they cannot regulate their body temperature like an adult and can quickly overheat. In extreme cases, your baby may develop heatstroke, resulting in breathing difficulties and even causing the brain to swell which can lead to death. It’s also advised for pregnant women not to use hot tubs as the information and guidelines out there highlight that overheating and heat stroke can be dangerous for both mum and baby.
No matter how much you check the chemical levels and clean the water filter, there will always be some bacteria in a hot tub.
Potentially dangerous bacteria including Legionnaires disease are one of the main causes of hot tub rash and needs to be treated right away.
Kids have a weaker immune system than adults and are much more vulnerable to infections and bacteria than an adult.
Babies can’t tell you when they need the toilet, so there are likely to be accidents in the hot tub. We can almost hear you saying, “What harm can a little piddle do?” Well, it can be dangerous and cause you a lot of unnecessary work on the hot tub.
This is all down to the chemical reaction when urea combines with chlorine. On its own, urea is harmless enough but once mixed with chlorine; it produces a new chemical by-product called Chloramine.
Now, most of the symptoms of inhaling Chloramine are mild for adults and include skin irritation, redness, sore or itchy eyes and respiratory problems (It can even cause Asthma), But when you take into account a baby’s delicate immune system, it can affect them much more severely.
Another factor is that if anyone pees in your hot tub, you will need to shock the hot tub to remove any traces of urine and possibly drain the hot tub completely to give it a thorough clean, which will cost money and time.
Hot Tub Safety Tips For Older Children
As your child gets older, chances are they will want to join in the fun of using a hot tub, so it’s essential to have some precautions in place to keep them safe. Why not let them help you set the hot tub rules? That way, you can explain the risks and they are more likely to stick to them when they use a hot tub.
- The area around the tub is likely to be slippery so never let them run in the vicinity of the spa in case they trip.
- Stick to the minimum height rule; your child should be able to stand on the tub floor with their head and shoulders entirely out of the water.
- Turn the temperature down to between 97 and 98 degrees to avoid the danger of heatstroke.
- Use benches or jump seats, so your child is not fully immersed in hot water.
- Most hot tubs have safety features included these days, but if you have an older model, check it has a circuit breaker for added safety if there should ever be an electrical fault.
- Ensure your kids shower and go to the loo before entering the hot tub, so they don’t unintentionally get mud, grass or any other debris into the fresh water. Don’t let children or adults eat food in the hot tub either.
- Make sure children drink plenty of cold water when using the tub to keep hydrated; many spas have drink holders where you can have a plastic cup (not glass for obvious reasons) to hand.
- Don’t let kids put their heads under the water; this can be extremely dangerous as long hair can get caught in the unit’s workings.
- Don’t let kids play in the tub for long; about five minutes is the expert advice for children under the age of 10 or 11. Fifteen minutes is the absolute max!
- Parents should ensure that children and kids are never left unsupervised near water, be it a swimming pool, pond or during hot tub use and always lock the cover when not in use to prevent access.
What About On Holiday?
Hot tubs can provide a lot of fun on a family holiday for young children and these days, many rental cottages boast an on-site spa. A word of warning here, though, the owners may not be as thorough with hot tub basics. Some expert tips would be to take a thermometer along so you can check the temperature or turn the heater down if need be and maybe even a couple of test strips to check the level of chemicals.
Of course, you must make your children aware of the dangers, including those caused by splashing and swallowing the not-so-fresh water when going to use a hot tub.
Are there any hot tub age restrictions in the UK?
It’s not advisable for kids under the age of five to be in a hot tub at all for the reasons we’ve covered above.
Is there a time limit for children in hot tubs?
To keep children safe in a hot tub, it’s recommended that they only sit in a tub for a maximum of five minutes to prevent heatstroke.
Although it’s tempting to want to include everyone in all of our activities and experience, something to consider is that it’s important to remember that infants aren’t as tough as they seem. Until their immune systems have had a chance to develop, it’s best not to expose them to too many germs – so we advise for them not to go in a hot tub.
Older children can enjoy hot tubs for short periods with supervision, but be sure to take precautions and finally, always make sure the water temperature in hot tubs is reduced sufficiently to avoid a child overheating.