While swimming pools in Rim Country are not as prevalent as in the Valley, many families do enjoy having a spa at home as a backyard recreational feature. Knowing how to keep family members safe around spas begins with knowing spa dangers and taking steps to protect them from common injuries.
Drowning is the leading cause of injury and death in spas, yet a recent study by the Home Safety Council (HSC) found that only 6 percent of respondents have taken any actions to prevent drowning incidents at home. Establishing spa use rules and equipping spas with protective devices such as anti-entrapment drains, slip-resistant surfaces and protective barriers are important steps to take as a family.
People of all ages are vulnerable to spa injuries. Make sure no one, even adults, use the spa alone. Teach children to stay away from the spa area when a parent or guardian is not around to actively supervise. If spas are not secured by fencing or barriers, spa covers should be in place and secured.
In addition to discussing spa rules, families should equip their spa with protective devices, such as anti-entrapment drain covers. These covers help protect against hair entanglement and body part entrapments, which occur when hair or a body part becomes caught as the water is drawn through the drain. If your spa is more than one year old, make sure it has anti-entrapment drain covers. If covers are missing or broken, do not use the spa until anti-entrapment drain covers are installed.
Follow these tips to protect your friends and family in and around your spa:
• Actively supervise children when they are in or around a spa. Stay within an arm’s reach at all times.
• When considering a new spa, look for slip-resistant surfaces. Some use surfaces found in the automotive industry that allows spa users to enter and exit the spa more safely.
• Always use a locking spa safety cover when the spa is not in use. A fence with a self-latching gate is an extra layer of protection.
• Buddy up. Make sure no one uses the spa alone, not even adults.
• Teach all children to stay away from spas when adults are not present.
• Know where the GFCI Breaker for your spa is so you can turn it off in an emergency.
• Replace drain covers with new models to prevent entrapment of hair and body parts.
• Teach children to stay away from spa drains while in the spa.
• Tie up hair when using a spa to keep it from being drawn into the drain.
• Obey all rules related to time limits and number of people in the spa.
• Make sure that the spa water temperature does not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit. High temperatures can cause drowsiness which may lead to unconsciousness, resulting in drowning.
• Pregnant women and young children should not use a spa before consulting with a physician.
Until next time be “Fired Up” about water safety, at all times.