If you own a hot tub, you need to be aware of the accidents that can happen if you and your guests don’t take the right precautions. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 300 people die every year from hot tub-related accidents. Children are especially vulnerable to hot tub-related deaths, with those under 5 accounting for nearly one-fifth of all drownings.
Statistics like those drive home the need to be aware of what to do to stay safe in a hot tub and what actions to take if you’ve been involved in a hot tub accident. Our personal injury attorney will discuss the various hot tub injuries that can occur, how to prevent them, and answer some questions you may have when it comes to hot tub accidents.
Types of Hot Tub Injuries
Slip and Falls
Many people suffer from slip and fall injuries related to hot tub use. Injuries can range from mild bruising to brain injuries and even drownings.
Since the area around a hot tub can get slippery, hot tub owners need to take precautions to prevent slips and falls as much as possible. This can include installing handrails to make getting in and out of the hot tub easier. Non-slip mats placed just outside the hot tub can also help.
Suction injuries inside the hot tub can be especially dangerous, leading to drowning in some cases. If something is blocking the drain that leads to pipes that suck water into the filter to clean the water, there could be increased suction as the pump works to clear the obstruction. When this happens, people can get trapped by the increased suction.
Hands, feet, fingers, and hair can become trapped. Children are especially at risk because they have less strength to break free from the suction.
There are safety measures in place to prevent these types of accidents from happening. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act “requires that drain covers must comply with entrapment protection requirements specified by the joint American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard.” Nevertheless, it is still important for hot tub owners to be mindful of these types of accidents and work to prevent them.
According to the CPSC, the temperature in a hot tub should never exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. A temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit is usually deemed suitable.
If the water in the hot tub is overheated it can raise a person’s body temperature to the point where they can get heat stroke because the body can no longer regulate its internal temperature. Pregnant women who use hot tubs can put their unborn babies at risk when the water is too hot as well.
When the water is too hot, people can become sleepy, increasing the drowning risk. The hot water can also trigger a stroke or other medical issues for people with high blood pressure, heart conditions, or other medical issues.
As a hot tub owner, if you don’t keep chemicals balanced, users can suffer chemical burns. Also, if the chemicals don’t disinfect the water enough, the heat can cause dangerous microorganisms to grow quickly. This can lead to serious health problems.
How to Prevent Hot Tub Accidents
While accidents can happen at any time, there are things you can do to try to avoid them. These include:
- Keeping chemical levels balanced
- Covering and locking the hot tub when it is not in use
- Install fencing around the hot tub
- Maintaining your hot tub to determine when things are not working properly and having them fixed promptly
- Always supervise young children around the hot tub
- Keeping the water at a safe temperature
- Knowing where the cut-off switch is so you can cut the power if needed during an emergency
Being mindful of these things can make a difference when it comes to preventing hot tub accidents.
How to Determine Fault for a Hot Tub Accident
As a hot tub owner, you may be held liable if someone gets hurt because you failed to maintain your hot tub. This is why hot tub owners need to monitor the condition of their hot tubs whether it’s at home or a hotel or another facility.
FAQs about Hot Tub Accidents
What causes the most hot tub injuries?
According to a survey by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, slip and fall accidents are the most common cause of hot tub injuries followed by heat overexposure.
How long can you safely stay in a hot tub?
In a safe hot tub water temperature, you should not stay in a hot tub for more than 30 minutes.
What should I do if I’ve had a hot tub accident?
You should always seek medical treatment if you’ve been involved in a hot tub accident. While you may feel fine immediately following, injuries can occur hours later. Gather any evidence if the accident happened on someone else’s property. You may also want to consult an attorney if you plan on filing a case over the accident.
Let the Doyle Offices Help if You’ve Been Hurt in a Hot Tub Accident
If you’re the victim of a hot tub accident, call The Doyle Law Offices P.A. We can review your case and help you determine if you’re eligible for compensation. Call us today at (919) 228-4487 or fill out the form below to schedule a consultation.