So your kids want to sit in the hotel hot tub. Should you let them? We talked to Dr. Lara McKenzie, Principal Investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Q: Can children overheat in a hot tub?
A: Yes, children have thinner skin than adults and can quickly overheat and burn. Something that might feel warm or even uncomfortably warm but bearable to an adult is going to be too hot for a child.
Q: At what age is it OK for a child to go in a hot tub?
A: Kids under age 5 shouldn’t be in hot tubs — really because of the temperature.
Q: Is there a time limit you recommend for children in hot tubs?
A: Limit yourself to 15 minutes in a hot tub; that goes for both children and adults.
Q: What’s the ideal temperature of a hot tub?
A: The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends 95 degrees Fahrenheit for children and 102 to 104 degrees for adults. It’s best to test the temperature with a floating thermometer — that will provide the most accurate number.
More Tips for Kids in Hot Tubs
- All rules for children in hot tubs apply to pregnant women.
- Be aware of harsh chemicals and cleanliness of hot tubs.
- Always assign a water watcher so no one is in the hot tub unsupervised.
- Don’t leave tempting toys/flotation devices in the hot tub when nobody is in it.
- When searching for a vacation rental, make sure the hot tub has a cover.
- Be aware that the suction in hot tubs and pools is especially strong.
- Download the Make Safe Happen app, which takes you room to room in an example home and shows you necessary safety precautions based on your children’s ages. It includes a backyard option for the hot tub, and is useful when considering a vacation rental.