Backyards have long since transformed from places to grill a few burgers and play with the dog to homeowners’ private sanctuaries. Pools and spas can help turn backyards into the oases modern homeowners crave.
Soaking in a hot tub can ease aches and pains and help people overcome stress. According to the health and wellness resource Healthline, a 2012 study examined the effects of hydrotherapy on sleep quality and physical function for people with fibromyalgia. Hydrotherapy was shown to improve sleep quality along with other fibromyalgia symptoms. Hot tubs also may relieve pain by relaxing tense muscles, tendons and joints.
Hot tubs can prolong the outdoor entertaining season by serving as heated retreats when the weather turns chilly. Whenever hot tubs are in use, certain safety protocols should be followed.
Maintain cleanliness: Hot tub water must be kept sanitary through testing and a careful balance of chemicals that will inhibit the spread of bacteria and other microorganisms, indicates Valley Pool & Spa, which has locations across the country. Those new to spa maintenance should consult with a spa expert on how often to test the water. Inquire about which products can help to maintain peak sanitation.
Be health smart: If you have a health condition or are pregnant, consult with a health care provider to determine if it is safe to use a hot tub. Individuals with heart conditions, high blood pressure or diabetes should not enter a spa without a doctor’s approval. In addition, do not enter the water if you have an infection, open wound or illness. Wait until you are symptom-free for 48 hours, suggests the Canada-based company RnR Hot Tubs and Spas.
Watch children: Children may want to enjoy the hot tub along with their parents and other adults. While the Consumer Product Safety Commission has not issued hot tub guidelines for youth, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that children under the age of five not use hot tubs. If children do want to use the hot tub, consider dialling back the water temperature, as high temperatures can lead to heat stroke and loss of consciousness in young people, according to the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA). The PHTA recommends turning the thermostat down to 98 F and limiting children to five minutes at a time in the water. Play should never exceed 15 minutes.
Be cautious around water: Adults and children alike should be aware of the hazards of drowning. It is possible to drown in a hot tub, even though it’s not as deep as a pool. Prevent access to the hot tub when it is unsupervised. Exercise caution when entering a hot tub while taking medications that cause drowsiness or while under the influence of alcohol.