Hot Tub Safety

Important Health Issues Associated with Home Spas

There are a number of health related issues which have become a concern for current and potential hot tub owners. A number of individuals are interested in learning about home spa benefits and hot tub safety before they even purchase one of these units for their home.

Hot tubs and children and the use of hot tubs during pregnancy are also important questions brought up by many individuals regarding regular hot tub use. Consuming alcohol while using a hot tub is another question we are asked a lot. There are also many common rashes associated with hot tub use that you may want to know about ahead of time – especially if you have sensitive skin. Concerns regarding whether or not hot tubs are bad for you are also identified in this section, as well as hydrotherapy and aquatic exercises associated with home spas.

Home Spa Benefits

Home spas are widely appreciated for their health benefits. For instance:

  • Spas help relax tight or sore muscles after vigorous physical activities.
  • Soaking in a spa or hot tub can reduce tension, which contributes to high blood pressure, heart disease, ulcers and other stress-related health problems.
  • Spas are beneficial for some people suffering from arthritis, bursitis or other bone, joint or muscle ailments.
  • Soaking in a spa helps increase blood flow through veins and arteries.
  • Spas lend themselves to meditation techniques and relaxation exercises.

Home spas and hot tubs are also considered an excellent alternative to a family swimming pool. Spas can easily fit in a small yard, or in a corner of a property that is unused. Pools generally cost three or four times as much as a complete hot tub or spa, and spas use much less water and electricity. Not to mention the fact that most homeowners can install their new home spa themselves!

Are Hot Tubs Bad For You?

Generally, hot tubs produce only positive benefits unless you use them in a manner which they are not intended to be used. If you choose to exceed the recommended optimal hot tub temperature, you are putting yourself at risk of heat exhaustion and possibly brain damage. Hot tubs are generally not recommended for women during pregnancy or for children at any time.

Hot Tubs & Kids

Hot tubs are not recommended for use by children. Because of the high temperatures associated with these units, children who bathe in a hot tub will be at risk of brain damage. In addition, there are thousands of child injuries and deaths annually as a result of accidental drowning. That said, it is best to avoid letting children use the spa and it is also important to make sure there is a locked cover on the hot tub at all times when it is not in use.

Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women are advised to avoid using hot tubs. Bathing in a hot tub can damage the fetus and may result in a miscarriage. Because the temperature of the water is so high and the stomach is constantly submerged, the baby is exposed to too much heat at one time. This can be very dangerous. In order to protect the fetus, pregnant women should not bath in water higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit at any time during their pregnancy.

Alcohol Hot Tub Risks

Many individuals choose to relax and enjoy an alcoholic beverage in their hot tub. What many people don't know is that consuming alcohol while submerged in a hot tub can be very dangerous. The heat from the spa accelerates the effects of the alcohol and can lead to unconsciousness. It is best to avoid alcohol when using a hot tub.

What's that Rash?

The most common type of rash associated with hot tubs is actually referred to as hot tub rash. This type of rash is also commonly known as dermatitis and is an infection of the skin as a result of a germ called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Dermatitis is often diagnosed by red, itchy bumps which may progress into sore blisters, usually found around hair follicles. Hot tub rash is spread through direct skin contact with contaminated water. To prevent yourself from catching this rash, simply make sure your hot tub has the appropriate level of chemicals to keep the water clean.

Hot Tub Safety

Your hot tub or home spa can be a source of entertainment and relaxation for years - but only if you use it safely.

Keep in mind the following safety precautions and emergency tips at all times:

  • Check with your doctor if you have a medical condition that might be affected by long soaks in a tub or spa.
  • Don't use your spa if you have skin infections or open sores.
  • Always shower with soap and water before and after entering. This gets rid of skin bacteria, deodorants, creams and lotions and keeps your hot tub or spa clean.
  • Don't spend more than 15 minutes at a time in heated water that is 104F (40C). Know your own limitations.
  • Don't use your tub if you've been drinking. Alcohol expands blood vessels and increases body temperature the same way soaking in hot water does. Combining the two can be dangerous.
  • Keep all surfaces around your tub clear from clutter. Make certain no electrical appliances or cords are within reach.
  • Use mats that provide excellent traction to avoid slipping near the tub.
  • If indoors, make certain your ceiling can support high levels of moisture and heat as steam rises and may damage plaster or tiles.
  • If outdoors, be prepared for seasonal changes. Snow can quickly become thick and dangerous ice on paths to a hot tub, spa, or steam room.
  • Make sure all gates or doors leading to steam baths or hot tubs are locked and carefully secure. Latches should be well out of children's reach.
  • Never leave children unattended in a tub or spa. Cover hot tubs and home spas safely and securely so that children cannot enter.
  • Have an Emergency Procedure List posted with a First Aid kit near by and have all guests familiar with procedures and regulations.

Hydrotherapy Aquatic Exercise

Hydrotherapy uses the effects of water to create therapeutic benefits for individuals suffering from injuries or muscle aches and pains. Slow movements in the water, much like other aquatic programs, combined with the high levels of heat are known to rejuvenate tired bodies and alleviate stress as well. Hydrotherapy exercises are not limited to hot tubs and spas, but can also be performed in showers, baths and body wraps.

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