Hot tub health risks: Separating fact from fiction
People love hot tubs, in part, because of the amazing health and wellness benefits they provide. From soothing arthritis pain to relieving stress, hot tubs have improved the lives of millions of people around the world. But there are also a lot of misconceptions out there about hot tubs. Specifically, people worry about any potential health risks related to hot tub use. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common concerns and separate the facts from the fallacies.
COMMON HOT TUB HEALTH CONCERNS
Modern-day hot tubs are designed and built to meet high standards for health and safety. Features like slip-proof steps, precise temperature controls and advanced water care systems all help ensure a healthy hot tub experience. But many potential buyers still have concerns about possible health risks and wonder if hot tubs are safe for their families. Thankfully, most concerns can be alleviated with a little cleanliness and care.
Concern: Your hot tub can burn or scald you
With modern hot tubs, there’s virtually no reason to worry about dangerously hot water. That’s because your home hot tub comes with a thermometer that can tell you the temperature of the water at a glance. While your individual preference may vary, an ideal temperature for healthy adults is usually around 101 or 102 degrees. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a maximum water temperature of 104 degrees. Most modern-day spas are specifically designed to never exceed that threshold.
Concern: You can catch a disease in a hot tub
Viruses, bacteria and fungus are some of the biggest concerns for anyone worried about possible hot tub-related health risks. Thankfully, these issues are easily avoided with proper hot tub care.
Whether you have a chlorine-based system or a salt water care system, the chemicals used are designed to kill most harmful microorganisms. Medical conditions that are sometimes associated with hot tub use include Legionnaire’s disease and folliculitis, which is sometimes referred to as “hot tub rash.” These conditions may be contracted from exposure to unclean hot tub water. To reduce your risk of exposure to these or any other conditions, be scrupulous about following the recommendations of your hot tub dealer for testing and caring for your hot tub water.
Some microorganisms, such as the parasite Cryptosporidium, are resistant to chlorine. So, prevention is the best cure. To reduce the risk of dangerous contaminants entering your hot tub water, always keep your hot tub securely covered with its own specially designed cover when not in use. Also, make sure everyone who uses your spa showers before entering the water.
Concern: Your hot tub can be dangerous if you’re pregnant
This is a valid concern: The American Pregnancy Association does not recommend hot tub use for pregnant women, as raising the body temperature to above 101 degrees during the first trimester can result in an increased risk of birth defects. Pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before using a hot tub.
Concern: You can fall and injure yourself using a hot tub
Anytime you’re walking on a wet surface, the potential for falls increases. So, you’ll certainly need to use caution while moving in or around your hot tub. But hot tub designers have come up with a variety of ways to mitigate the risk of falls and improve safety for hot tub users.
For one, most hot tubs are designed with slip-proof steps and textured surfaces that make it easier to maintain your footing. For those with reduced mobility, always use a set of steps on the side of your hot tub, and consider installing a handrail to help you safely enter and exit your hot tub. Additional accessories can always be added to improve safety.
While hot tub ownership does come with some specific concerns, a little knowledge and some simple preventative measures can go a long way to keeping you and your family happy and healthy. In the end, if you’re properly maintaining your hot tub water and following the recommendations of your trusted local dealer, there’s no reason to worry about any hot tub health risks.