When you think about hot tubs, you probably think about relaxation, fun and good company. While hot tubs can certainly provide all of those things and more, there are 10 things you should never do in a hot tub:
- Drink alcohol.
- Bring in pets.
- Leave children unattended.
- Submerge open wounds.
- Get too hot.
- Soak while you’re tired.
- Get in during a storm.
- Use glass cups.
- Engage in horseplay.
- Forget to shower beforehand.
Why shouldn’t you do those things? Let us explain.
1. Alcohol and Hot Tubs Don’t Mix
While having a cocktail next to the pool is undoubtedly enjoyable, you should never get in a hot tub while or after drinking.
One reason for this is that alcohol dilates your blood vessels, meaning that it opens them up and allows more blood to pass through.
As a result, your body temperature will rise, which is why many people feel warmer after drinking.
In a hot tub, this spike in temperature can result in dangerous heat levels, which can make you feel sick and even lead to loss of consciousness.
Another reason why alcohol should always stay outside the hot tub is that alcohol can exacerbate the levels of dehydration you experience from the heat of your spa. This can also cause you to feel sick or faint.
2. No Pets Allowed
Although it might be safe and fun for your furry friends to take a dip in a shallow pool, hot tubs are a whole different story.
Don’t forget, even though your hot tub may seem shallow to you, they’re usually too deep for your pet to stand in without assistance.
Plus, unlike humans, dogs lack the ability to sweat.
This means that panting is often their only way of cooling down, and in water that’s heated to 100℉ or more, the heat can prove to be too much and result in dehydration or even heatstroke.
3. Never Leave Children Unattended
It’s common knowledge that children shouldn’t be left unattended near a pool or other body of water, but many people forget that hot tubs can be just as dangerous.
First and foremost is the risk of drowning, even if the child in question is an experienced swimmer.
Second, it’s important to remember that children’s bodies aren’t equipped to adapt to extreme temperatures as well as adults’ are, meaning they can easily overheat and start to feel ill and may experience heat stroke.
Always use caution when bringing your children into the hot tub; refrain from doing so if your children are under the age of five, cannot stand in the center with their head above the water or will be unattended.
4. Don’t Submerge Open Wounds
Although your hot tub’s chemicals will purify your water enough for normal usage, cuts or wounds can become infected by any bacteria that hasn’t yet been eliminated.
If your wound is on your arms, neck or head, you may be able to enjoy a soak without submerging your the affected area.
If your wound is located on a part of your body you have to submerge, however, you should refrain from getting in the hot tub altogether.
If you do accidentally submerge your wound in the hot tub, remember to thoroughly disinfect it afterward.
5. Remember to Stay Cool
In the tranquil waters of a hot tub, it can be easy to stop paying attention to your body temperature.
However, it’s important to monitor your heat levels and immediately cool down if you start feeling light-headed, nauseous, weak or fatigued.
If you start to feel too hot, get out of the hot tub and drink several glasses of cool (but not ice cold) water.
Then, make sure to lower the temperature by at least a couple degrees before getting back in.
Even if you’re only experiencing minor symptoms, take the time to step out and cool down — an uninterrupted hot tub session simply isn’t worth the risk of heatstroke.
6. Stay Awake and Alert
Hot tubs can have a profoundly relaxing effect, which will only be increased if you’ve been drinking alcohol or are tired before you even get in.
While it might feel nice to settle into your hot tub after a long, exhausting day, falling asleep in the hot tub can be extremely dangerous.
Besides the risk of drowning, napping in the hot tub can also cause your body to overheat without your even realizing it.
Next time you’re feeling sleepy but want to enjoy a soak, be smart and get some sleep before getting in.
7. Keep Out During Storms
Hot tubs can be enjoyed in almost any kind of weather, whether it’s sunny, snowy or raining. Electrical storms are a major exception, however.
While pure water has limited conductivity, water that’s been treated with chemicals can be extremely conductive, meaning that if lightning strikes the water — or travels up your hot tub’s electrical cables — you could be seriously injured by an electric shock.
So, make sure to check your area’s weather forecast before getting in the hot tub on a cloudy day, and always exit your hot tub as soon as you observe signs of lightning or thunder, no matter what the forecast calls for.
8. Beware of Glass
There’s a reason that public pools always warn against bringing glassware into the vicinity: Broken glass is even more dangerous near water than it is on dry ground.
Why? Because shards of glass can go unnoticed on wet ground and are even harder to spot underwater.
Needless to say, loose glass shards pose a serious risk and can easily injure adults and children alike.
So, although it’s always smart to keep a cup of water near the hot tub to regulate your body temperature, make sure the glass cups stay safely inside your home.
9. Horseplay Is Dangerous in Hot Tubs
It can be tempting to goof around with other occupants during your hot tub session, but be aware that doing so is even more dangerous than engaging in horseplay in a pool.
This is because hot tubs are much smaller than pools and often have an uneven floor, meaning that you can easily twist an ankle, fall over or even fall out of the hot tub.
If you really want to play around in the hot tub, try a waterproof deck of cards, toss around an inflatable ball or try out a trivia game, but save the physical horseplay for a safer environment.
10. Showering Can Save Your Filter
While it might seem unnecessary to shower before entering your own hot tub, doing so can prolong the life of your hot tub filter and pump while keeping your water sparkling clean.
Even small bits of debris can get caught in your filter, as can any lotions, perfumes or oils that may be on your body.
As a result, your filter can become clogged quicker than it would otherwise, and your pump will have to work harder to push water through the filtration system.
Don’t forget, a clogged filter can only be remedied by replacing it, and a pump is even more expensive to repair.
To prevent this from happening, simply take a quick shower before jumping in the hot tub — your filter, pump and wallet will thank you.
With these 10 tips in mind, you can enjoy a hot tub experience that’s as safe as it is fun for the whole family.