Last month’s reaction to singer Beyoncé cuddling her newborn in a hot tub was strong. Fears for the safety of her infant daughter, immersed in what was assumed to be hot water, is a natural concern. The usual water temperature in a hot tub is, indeed, very dangerous for such a young child.
Of course, the singer probably ensured the water temperature was safe. Nonetheless, all the criticism brings up a great question: when are hot tubs safe for children?
Spa Water Temperature and Young Children:
Children ‘Under’ 5
In their online feature “Children in Hot Tubs,” Hot Tub Works’ March 12, 2015 post concludes that “especially for children under 5 years old, with bodies still growing rapidly, a hot tub can be unhealthy or possibly dangerous to them.” The post includes several quotes from a variety of experts, including this blunt CDC statement: “Exclude children less than 5 years of age from using hot tubs.”
Children ‘Over’ 5
According to this same Hot Tub Works’ post, health experts agree that even slightly older children are susceptible to hyperthermia and overheating quickly when a spa temperature is over 100 degrees. This is because of the child’s young bones and thin skin.
It is advisable then to limit soaking time to under 10 minutes and to not let the spa water reach over 100 degrees for children even a little over 5. Once children are preteen, they should follow the safety guidelines adults do.
Rules Obeyed: Fun for Whole Family
If you follow the above rules, says Long Island Hot Tub’s owner, Bill Renter, a hot tub can truly be for family enjoyment. Bill, by the way, does not just sell hot tubs, he and his family have been enjoying one at their home since their children were pre-teen.
“When we were cooking, our preteen girls were literally just outside our door – even on cool days. We knew how long they were in, and what the water temperate was. They would put on their bathing suits and splash around and have fun. They did this from March through December, just about every day.”
Renter has spa clients who say the same thing. Not just in colder weather, but even on summer evenings, when children have been in a swimming pool, they will ask their parents to turn on the hot tub to warm up. Under supervision of the parents (or grandparents) the kids love the bubbling waters as a small effervescent pool and a place for fun.