Many homes and hotels have whirlpool tubs. Relaxing and soothing to adults, they can be dangerous to children. While whirlpool tubs are filled with enticing bubbles and warm water, they also hold multiple risks for injury or drowning. Fortunately, adults can take steps, both at home and away, to minimize risk to their children when bathing in a whirlpool tub.
Whirlpool bathtubs -- or bathtubs of any kind -- pose a significant risk to young children for drowning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that after swimming pools, bathtubs are the second leading location where young children drown. Children can drown in only a few inches of water. It can happen quickly and quietly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, adding that adults should never be involved in a distracting activity, such as reading, doing household chores or talking on the phone while supervising children in the tub.
Supervising young children in a bathtub or whirlpool tub can reduce the risk for injury from slipping and falling as well as help protect them from drowning. Young children should be within arm's reach of an attentive adult at all times while in the tub, and if the adult leaves the bathroom for any reason, little ones should leave as well. Never leave young children unsupervised or under the care of other children while in a bathtub or whirlpool tub, even for a moment.
According to CPSC, 13 cases of injury were reported between 1999 and 2007 that involve victims being held underwater because their hair was sucked into the suction fitting of a whirlpool tub. This happens when a bather’s hair is drawn into the drain and becomes entangled in the cover. To reduce this risk, CPSC developed drain covers that prevent hair from becoming entangled. Help reduce risk for hair entrapment by preventing children from lying down in the water with their heads near the drain and making sure anti-entrapment drain covers have been installed in your whirlpool tub.
Whirlpool Tub Warnings and Tips
Though soaking in a hot whirlpool tub is relaxing, elevated water temperatures can pose health threats to young children and at-risk adults. Water temperature in your whirlpool tub should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, warns CPSC. Know where the shut-off valve is for your whirlpool tub and turn it off in case of an emergency. Have your tub checked by a professional to make sure drain covers are safe and in good working order, and check them yourself throughout the year.
- Mayo Clinic: Water safety: Protect Your Child From Drowning
- U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: In Home Danger: CPSC Warns of Children Drowning in Bathtubs, Bath Seats and Buckets More Than 400 Deaths Estimated Over a Five-Year Period
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: CPSC Issues Warning for Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:1999-2007 -- Reported Circulation Suction/Entrapments Associated with Pools, Hot Tubs, Spas and Whirlpools, 2008 Memorandum
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Unintentional Drowning: Get the Facts
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