Little ones love hot tubs! They love the bubbles, the lights, the whirl-y jets and the fact that they have excellent nooks and crannies that can be used as some sort of underwater obstacle course. Sound fun? It is. But expect a lot of jumping, splashing and sliding.
No one wants to be the fun police, but SAFETY has to come first and foremost when it comes to kids and Hot Tubs. Below are 5 ways to have a safe and fun time in the hot tub with the kids.
1. The story of the bear who broke in to the hot tub
Once upon a time (in metro Vancouver) a big black bear broke into someone's backyard and used the hot tub and the pool for a little rest and relaxation. Once he was done he left a furry mess, and an awful 'wet dog' smell for the family to clean up.
This is why all above ground hot tubs today come with cover clips that lock the spa cover down when not in use. Although these clips are simple enough for anyone over 10 to get through, they are a good deterrent for curious little ones who may want to explore the tub when parents have their back turned. Most cover clips come with little keys that need to be used to unlock the cover - its best to keep these keys out of reach, and to keep the cover locked when the spa isn't in use. This works well for bears and kids alike!
2. Turn the temp down below 100f
Given the level of physical activity that takes place in a tub when used by kids, the water never needs to be has hot as possible. Giggles and tons of exertion create enough body heat for little ones to try to regulate without having to deal with additional physical stress of hot water. Overheated kids suffer from a variety of different illnesses, including dizziness and drowsiness. Keeping the water cool, and keeping all activity supervised AT ALL TIMES, is the only way to make sure hot tubs stay safe and fun for children.
*Please note babycenter.com advises that hot tubs should not be used at all by those under 5. This is because young children can overheat more quickly than adults. Your child should also be tall enough to stand in the center of the hot tub and still keep her head above the water to help prevent drowning
3. Go potty before you get in!
Please oh please, go before you get in. The guy at the hot tub store sold us a chemical that turns your pee bright green as soon as you pee in the tub, so everyone will know when anyone pees. That goes for adults too! (This one usually works if your kids are too young to get grossed out about the idea of sitting in urine.)
4. Shower before and DEFINITELY after
What you bring in to the tub stays in the tub. Showering before hot tub use is important because it washes away many of the common skin bacteria, but also because it removes perspiration, lotions, deodorants, powders and creams. Showering after the hot tub assures that you remove any chemical residue on the skin and in the hair.
5. Warm Towels and Cool Drinks once you're done Tubbin'
Extreme changes in temperature can cause lots of complications for kids. The hot water coupled with the fact that hot tubs can be dehydrating - makes drinking water an important thing to remember after getting out of the tub. Warm towels also help little ones gently ease back to cooler temperatures outside of tub.
--In my experience the best recipe for a calm sleepy child includes 15 minutes in the hot tub, with a warm towel and drink after. A quick rinse off, a yummy supper and then it's off to bed. The warmth of the tub makes it easier for my little one to fall quickly to sleep, leaving mum and dad a little time for wine in the hot tub later.