Is it Safe to Put Your Baby in a Hot Tub?

You’ve finally gotten your hands on the brand-new, top-of-the-line hot tub and you’re dying to try it out! Your family will love it, right? Well, before you dive right in with your infant, take some time to read up on some of the risks and precautions associated with hot tubs and babies—it might be better to wait until your baby’s a little older before introducing her to the tub.

5 Common Concerns

Using hot tubs can be safe for babies and kids, but there are a few important things to watch out for. The most common issue is scalding; if your baby’s skin starts turning red or feels uncomfortable, stop immediately and dry her off. You’ll also want to take care around sharp objects like toys or rough edges that could injure your child. And while sitting on mom’s lap is an easy way to keep them warm and secure, beware of slipping into cold water if you get up quickly. Though using hot tubs with babies should usually be fine (as long as the mom doesn’t have an underlying condition), you should always check with your doctor before entering any body of water.

When Can My Child Get into the Hot Tub with Me?

In short, probably not until age three. Because of their fragile immune systems, young children should not be exposed to hot tub chemicals or water temperatures above 104 degrees Fahrenheit—and even then, only for limited amounts of time (it’s also important for babies younger than three months old to avoid soaking altogether). So you can enjoy your soak without worry that your child will catch an ear infection or other illness by sitting in with you. If you want your baby around while you soak—but don’t want him actually bathing—you can put him safely on a waterproof mat while he plays nearby. Or try placing him in his own inflatable kiddie pool and filling that with warm water.

Where Should I Place My Infant?

Unless your doctor has given you permission, never leave your baby unattended. Experts recommend one of these places: In an infant carrier or car seat; on your lap; or next to you while you’re sitting in a chair. Never hold your infant on top of an open hot tub, and never submerge him or her in water over 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Much Water Pressure Should I Have in My Hot Tub for Babies?

Water pressure is measured in pounds per square inch or psi. When your hot tub is at normal operating temperature—about 104 degrees Fahrenheit—the recommended hot-tub water pressure for babies is 15 psi. For every 5-degree drop, reduce that number by 1 psi. So if you’re running at 100 degrees F, use 14 psi.

What Do I Need to Know About Moving My Child from One Hot Spot to Another?

Babies and children need protection from high heat and direct sunlight. During hot weather, pay special attention to your child’s immediate environment — his car seat, stroller, or playpen. If there is any shade around these items, make sure your baby is protected from direct sunlight; likewise with your car. Never leave him inside an unattended vehicle for even a moment — never! It only takes an instant for something bad to happen. Of course, as with adults, you want to keep water safety at top of your mind when moving from one hot spot to another: Don’t put babies or small children into a hot tub until they are at least 1 year old and show no signs of distress in cool water.

How Does Water Temperature Affect a Baby’s Safety In The Spa?

The most important thing is to remember that hot tubs are not like bathtubs. If you’re thinking about taking your baby into one, consider these points

What Other Precautions Should I Take With Children Around The Spa Waters?

Make sure you can see your children at all times. Stay within arms reach of young children at all times—this helps prevent accidental drownings from mischievous and curious toddlers who want to swim but can’t swim or even float yet. You should also put life jackets on them (and on yourself) so that they are floating safely in case of an accident—or if there is something wrong with them, like a seizure. Do not give your kids drinks that have alcohol or caffeine before and during hot tub use because they will lose their balance more easily than normal, fall and hurt themselves more easily than normal, lose awareness more quickly than usual and get sicker quicker than they normally would if they drank alcohol or coffee before entering into hot water.

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