Q: [Babies & Toddlers] What are the best precautions I can take for my child to be safe near hot tubs and pools this summer?
A: There will always be risks associated with children near any body of water. Basic water safety measures will help prevent accidental injuries and deaths during the summer months.
Baby and Toddler Safety: Children that are this young should always be supervised when they are near pools, and floatation devices should always be used. You should only allow children who can stand on the bottom with their heads completely out of the water to enter a hot tub. Toddlers and young children should only be allowed in hot tubs for five minutes at a time.
Teach Your Children About Water Safety: Go over any rules you want to implement and explain to your children why it is important that the rules are followed. Much like the ones that are in place at public pools, these rules can prevent accidents and injuries at your home.
Cover Pools and Hot Tubs When Not in Use: Unfortunately, some large swimming pools may be impossible to cover, but this means that you should always supervise your children when they are near the pool. If possible, lock the covers you have on your hot tub and pool to prevent children from being able to pull them off and access the water while you aren’t around.
Supervise Your Children Near Pools and Hot Tubs: Children should be monitored when playing in or near a pool or hot tub. There is always a risk of injury or drowning near pools and hot tubs. If you own a pool or hot tub, you may want to learn CPR, just in case there is an accident. When supervising children near the pool or hot tub, keep a phone nearby, so you can quickly call for help in the event of an emergency.
Drop the Hot Tub Temperature: Hot tubs can reach temperatures of 104°F, and small children are sensitive to high temperatures. Drop the temperature to a more comfortable 95°F and limit their time in the tub to ten minutes. This will prevent overheating in young children. You should also be sure to keep kids hydrated while they are in the warm water of a hot tub.
Scott Palmer is a senior consultant at SpaMate, a high quality hot tub cover and spa accessories supplier. He is an expert in pool, spa, and hot tub care. www.spamate.com