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Should I take my 17-month-old into a hot tub?

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Is it safe for my 17-month-old to go into a hot tub?


Prolonged submersion in a hot tub can have negative consequences for small children depending on the temperature of the water and the condition of the adults caring for them. Certainly do not take a child into a hot tub after you have been drinking. It is easy to lose focus or even fall asleep and put the child in danger of drowning. In fact, getting into a hot tub after drinking risks drowning for yourself as well. Temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit can cause metabolic changes in the baby if he or she is left long enough in the water, raising body temperature and possibly suppressing reflexes. Long hair can get caught in the drain at the bottom also. In addition, a minor hazard for children is a skin infection called "spa dermatitis," caused by a bacteria that can live in the warm water despite chlorination. While not life threatening to a healthy child, it can be annoying. The bottom line is, take your child in only if a) the water temperature is not too high, b) you and other adults are not impaired by alcohol or drugs, and c) the encounter is not longer than a few minutes.


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