With the first day of winter just around the corner, many homeowners will be firing up their hot tubs for the season – especially with many holiday plans cancelled or postponed this year. Hot tubs and winter go hand-in-hand, but before you dash out to your tub, here is a quick refresher on some hot tub safety tips to keep you and your family safe and healthy all season long.
Hot tub safety tips for winter 2020/21
1. Don’t soak if you are feeling sick
Even though the CDC has stated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools or hot tubs, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you are feeling unwell, skip the hot tub session until your symptoms are gone.
2. Stay on top of sanitizing high-touch areas surrounding your hot tub
As with your home, it is advisable to regularly disinfect the surfaces surrounding your hot tub that are not submerged in sanitized water as a preventative precaution. Include this task in your weekly hot tub maintenance duties, but keep in mind that the more frequently a surface is touched by multiple people, the more frequently it will need to be cleaned and disinfected.
3. Monitor your hot tub’s chemicals
Bacteria, viruses and other contaminants thrive in hot water, so it is important for both your health and the health of your hot tub to stay on top of balancing your hot tub’s water. Just like you would for a swimming pool, use a test kit to check for adequate sanitizer, Total Alkalinity and pH levels. Check your water before and after each use to ensure that your water is properly balanced and top up your chemicals as needed.
4. Limit your soaking time
Your hot tub’s temperature should be set somewhere between 32-40°C and the hotter you have it set within that range, the shorter your soaking time should be. While it can be tempting to spend longer in the tub when it’s cold outside, the longer you soak the more you risk developing heat-related symptoms, such as light-headedness, heat stroke, fainting and drowsiness. Limit your soak to a maximum of 20 minutes at a time. Take breaks between soaks if you want to spend more time in your tub.
5. Keep the area around your hot tub clean and clear
Before heading out for soak, make sure to clear a path to your hot tub if it has snowed. Consider placing some anti-slip tiles or mats around your tub to ensure no one slips and falls on their way to or from the tub. To help bathers get in and out of your tub safely, also consider adding a sturdy handrail or some conveniently placed steps.
Little splashes from getting in and out of your hot tub can create ice buildup during cold weather. So even if there’s no ice when you get in, there could be when you get out. Keeping a pair of hot tub shoes, sandals or slippers with good grip nearby can also help prevent slips and falls.
6. Don’t mix alcohol and hot tubs
Alcohol and hot tubs should never mix because it can lead to:
- Extreme dehydration
- Heat exhaustion
Plus, when you step out of a hot tub after partaking in an alcoholic beverage you lose the heat from your body at a much quicker rate, which can be dangerous. Alcohol can also lead to more injuries from slips and falls as your coordination is affected.
7. Tub together
Not only is using your hot tub more fun with a partner, but it is also safer as well! It is also important to ensure that seniors and children are never left unattended in a hot tub as they are more likely to develop adverse reactions to the hot water, drown, or slip on their way to or from the hot tub.
Just remember that this winter you should only share your hot tub with the people within your household or bubble to stay extra safe during these unusual times.
Use these hot tub safety tips this winter to avoid accidents and enjoy your hot tub in peace and comfort!