Can babies go in a hot tub?

As enjoyable as the hot tub may be for adults, the experience can be quite harmful for babies.  Doctors tell pregnant women to avoid hot tubs during pregnancy.  And this advice should be heeded by parents even after birth.

A baby’s body does not have the ability to account for temperature shifts the way an adult can.  Therefore, he/she can overheat in a hot tub even if you, yourself, feel that the water is cool enough.  A baby’s heart will race and the body will sweat profusely, making the experience quite uncomfortable.  In extreme cases, these symptoms can cause death.

Because of the intimate nature of a hot tub, the environment can become a concentrated pool of bacteria.  The hot water temperature allows bacteria to multiply and stick to nearby surfaces.  Your baby can come in contact with dangerous viruses that adults would otherwise be able to fight off.

Many doctors recommend not allowing your child into a hot tub until he/she is at least 5-years-old.  At this age, the child is able to sit upright on his/her own and the body is able to regulate temperature changes more effectively.  Meanwhile, a hot tub cover is always a good idea — no matter what age your children may be.  These sturdy covers keep children out of the apparatus – and also serve as a visual indicator that the tub is off-limits at that time.  You can also choose covers that include locks and a surrounding gate for extra security.

If you’re looking to spend a relaxing day out on the deck with your baby, there are many options that don’t involve a hot tub.  Whatever activity you do choose, make sure your baby is always wearing sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat.  And consider revising your deck so that all aspects are enjoyable, regardless of whether you are in the hot tub or not.