Safety Guidelines for Hot Tubs
Assess the Surroundings
Observation of hot tubs will provide you with important clues about their maintenance. You should not smell odors. Chlorination should not emit strong chemical odors. If you do smell chemicals, this suggests possible maintenance issues. The filtration system and pumps should create an audible noise you can hear, indicating that these systems are functioning. The water temperature should not be higher than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The tiles inside the tub should feel smooth to the touch, never slippery or sticky. Slippery or sticky tiles indicate issues of cleanliness.
Follow Posted Guidelines
Hot tubs post safety guidelines for users to follow. Read the guidelines and adhere to them for optimal safety. Users should always bathe or shower with soap immediately before entering the facility. The facility likely has a maximum capacity of users for the unit, so ensure that you do not exceed this number. Children under age five should not use hot tubs. Generally, users should not exceed a maximum length of time in the water to avoid excessive exposure to the warm temperatures.
Dangers of Alcohol
Drinking alcohol and using hot tubs is not a safe combination. The hot water causes dehydration, even if you don’t realize that you are perspiring. Alcohol also causes dehydration. When these two factors work together, people may experience a higher level of fluid loss, which can be dangerous. Alcohol also causes blood vessels to expand and body temperature to increase. Because the hot water also raises body temperature, it’s possible for users to experience heat exhaustion. Other dangers of alcohol include broken glass shattering into the unit and passing out from over consumption.
Symptoms of dehydration and heat exhaustion can overlap. Anytime you feel dizzy, lightheaded, nauseous, or confused, get out of the water immediately. Extreme fatigue, headache, excessive sweating, and a rapid heart rate are also signs of danger. Get out of the tub immediately and drink fluids to replenish your fluid levels. Taking a cool shower may also help you reduce your body temperature. If you disregard these symptoms, you might lose consciousness, which can be dangerous in the water. At the most extreme, coma and even death can occur.
Never spend time in a hot tub alone. If you become overwhelmed with dehydration or heat exhaustion, you could easily lose consciousness and slip into the water. Having other people around helps ensure safety of all users. Speak with management before using a facility. Find out when the last inspection occurred. Ask how often management tests pH and chlorine levels. Optimally, these levels require testing twice per day.