What Age Can a Child Get in a Hot Tub?

Safety is always a concern when children are in or around any body of water. However, when it comes to hot tubs, extra vigilance is necessary. The high temperatures and the strong suction created by the water pump can create even more hazards – especially for younger children. So, what age can a child get in a hot tub? To answer this question and more we’ve put together a list of safety concerns geared towards hot tubs and their use by children.

Water Safety

When it comes to the death of young children, drownings are at the top of the list. For this reason, it’s essential that adults are aware of any children in or around any body of water. As mentioned in the introduction, hot tubs provide an extra challenge because of the high temperatures and powerful equipment. If a hot tub isn’t being used it should be properly secured with a locking cover. And while many local governments require hot tubs and swimming pools to be cordoned off with childproof fencing, every hot tub owner should consider such protection even if they don’t have any children of their own. A bit of deterrence can prevent a lifetime of regret.

What Age Can A Child Get in A Hot Tub?

The Center for Disease Control provides guidelines that suggest that children under the age of five should not use a hot tub. Not only is their skin much more sensitive to burning at those ages, they don’t have the fully developed thermoregulatory processes found in those who are older. This can lead to hyperthermia or overheating which can have great consequences.

Hot Tub Temperatures

Most hot tubs can be heated as high as 40 degrees Celsius. It’s recommended that adults spend no longer than 15 or 20 minutes in a hot tub running at that temperature. If children between the ages of 5 and 12 are using the hot tub, not only should the water temperature be reduced, but the amount of time they spend in the water should also be decreased. Bringing the water temperature below the normal internal body temperature of 37C can significantly reduce the chances of overheating. And children should spend no more than five minutes at a stretch in the hot tub before they get out and cool off.

Height Prerequisites

No matter their age children should be tall enough to be able to stand flat footed on the hot tub floor with their mouth and nose clearly above the water. This allows them a chance to help themselves should their hair or body part get stuck in the drain or filter. And while many hot tub manufacturers have taken care to prevent such a situation, the possibility should not be ignored. Every user of the hot tub should know the location of the hot tub kill switch and how to use it.


Because of their elevated temperatures, hot tubs can quickly dehydrate people of any age. But it can happen much more quickly in children. Therefore, it’s important to ensure children are well hydrated before using the hot tub as well as after. Pay particular attention to children for any signs of dizziness, sleepiness or nausea.

Full Body Submersion

Although many adults love the feeling of submerging themselves up to their necks in the warm bubbling water, children should be prevented from doing so. Again, it could lead to them overheating much faster than it would an adult. Have them sit on the side of the hot tub and dangle their legs in the water or make use of a children’s seat that keeps their upper torso out of the water.

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