1, 2002- The
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) helped develop standards to
prevent hair entanglement and body part entrapment in spas, hot tubs, and
whirlpools. These standards should help prevent deaths and injuries. Consumers
should fix their old spas, hot tubs, and whirlpools with new, safer drain
covers. CPSC warns about these hazards:
Drownings In Hot tubs, Spas & Whirlpools
hazard from hot tubs and spas is the same as that from pools – drowning. Since
1980, CPSC has reports of more than 700 deaths in spas and hot tubs. About
one-third of those were drownings to children under age five. Consumers should
keep a locked safety cover on the spa whenever it is not in use and keep
children away unless there is constant adult supervision.
Hair Entanglement In Drains of Hot tubs, Spas & Whirlpools
CPSC has reports of 49 incidents (including 13 deaths) in which people’s hair
was sucked into the suction fitting of a spa, hot tub, or whirlpool, causing
the victim’s head to be held under water. Hair entanglement occurs when a
bather’s hair becomes entangled in a drain cover as the water and hair are
drawn through the drain. In some incidents, children were playing a "hold
your breath the longest" game. Permitting their long hair to be sucked
into the drain. CPSC helped develop a voluntary standard for drain covers that
helps reduce the risk of hair entrapment. Consumers should be sure they have
new drain covers that meet this standard. If you are not sure, call a pool or
spa professional to check the spa. Never allow a child to play in a way that
could permit the child’s hair to come near the drain cover. If a drain cover
is missing or broken, shut down the spa until the cover is replaced.
Bodypart Entrapments / Dis-Embowelments In Drains of Hot tubs, Spas & Whirlpools
CPSC knows of
18 incidents since 1980 in which parts of the body have been entrapped by the
strong suction of the drain of pools, wad-ing pools, spas, and hot tubs. Of
these, 10 resulted in dis-embowelment and 5 other people died. CPSC helped
develop a standard requiring dome-shaped drain outlets and two outlets for
each pump. This reduces the powerful suction if one drain is blocked.
Consumers with older spas should have new drain covers installed and may want
to consider getting a spa with two drains.
Hot Tub Spa Temperatures Too High Can Kill
CPSC knows of
several deaths from extremely hot water (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
in a spa or hot tub. High temperatures can cause drowsiness which may lead to
unconsciousness, resulting in drowning. In addition, raised body temperature
can lead to heat stroke and death. In 1987, CPSC helped develop requirements
for temperature controls to make sure that spa water temperatures never exceed
104 degrees Fahrenheit. Pregnant women and young children should not use a spa
before consulting with a physician.
CPSC RECOMMENDATIONS ON HOT TUB SAFETY:
recommends these safety precautions when using a hot tub, spa, or whirlpool:
1. Always use a locked safety cover when the spa is not in use and keep young children away from spas or hot tubs unless there is constant adult supervision.
2. Make sure the spa has the dual drains and drain covers required by current safety standards.
3. Regularly have a professional check your spa or hot tub and make sure it is in good, safe working condition, and that drain covers are in place and not cracked or missing. Check the drain covers yourself throughout the year.
4. Know where the cut-off switch for your pump is so you can turn it off in an emergency.
5. Be aware that consuming alcohol while using a spa could lead to drowning.
6. Keep the temperature of the water in the spa at 104 degrees Fahrenheit or below.