After a tiring day at work, everyone wants to relax in a hot tub. But is it safe? Know the answer right here.
Dipping in hot tubs is amazingly relaxing. It can soothe sore muscles, help the body sweat out excess sodium and other undesirable substances which can include toxins. This makes the hot tub a handy liver and kidney “assistant”, in fact some doctors recommend people with liver and kidney problems to dip in hot tubs frequently. Getting in hot tubs can also help people with asthma and other respiratory conditions. In short dipping in these warm tubs is good for your health. But people often ask, is my hot tub safe?
Issues with hot tub use
There are many things you need to be mindful about when using a tub at home or at a nearby spa. Here are some sources of problems with using a hot tub.
- Medical considerations – First you need to understand that dipping in a hot body of water has some medical implications. For people with a heart condition excessively hot water can stress the heart. Therefore it is important to get clearance from your doctor before dipping in if you have some heart issues.
- Sanitation – a hot tub can be host to bacteria and other contaminants that can make you sick. Be sure to check that your tub is fit for use.
- Safety – do not overexpose yourself to too much heat in the tub. And you also need to consider the chemicals used in sanitizing it. Not all of it is safe or potent enough to kill the germs present in the water.
- The number of people you share the tub with – it is just not hygienic for hot tubs to be too crowded with people. Limit the number of people dipping with you. In a spa, make sure only a few people are in the tub before you jump in.
As you can see, the problems listed above are very easy to address and some simple precautions can help you steer clear from the problems inherent with hot tub use. Sanitation issues however are wide so it is just right that this be explored more.
Hot tub sanitation concerns
Why is hot tub sanitation very important? You need to remember that you are dipping in a hot tub to improve your health and wellness. Contracting a disease from a hot tub is just not right. Sanitation is more challenging in a hot tub that in a pool because of one thing – heat. The heat from the tub makes it very hard to have a steady level of disinfectant in the water. The warm water can easily make germs and bacteria survive as it neutralizes the potency of the disinfectants used in the water. What are the sanitation issues that can arise from hot tubs?
- Contracting Pseudomonas aeruginosa – this specific germ easily multiply when the condition in the hot tub is right. Because people dip in hot tubs longer, their exposure to the germ also increases. This give way to the surfacing of the symptoms of pseudomonas folliculitis or commonly known as hot tub rash. The rashes forms around the swimsuit as it only attacks exposed skin. The rashes can get very severe that it forms bumpy rashes and even blisters in hair follicles. The symptoms often surface after a few days of exposure. If you have any skin condition or sunburn, careful use of hot tub is required so as to not aggravate your condition more.
- Getting Legionnaires’ disease – while hot tub rashes clear up on its own even without treatment this disease on the other hand is on a different league and can be potentially fatal. This is a type of pneumonia that is brought about by a germ called Legionella commonly found in warm water. Its entry to the body is often through the steam or mist from the contaminated tub. People who are more than 50, smokers, or have a weak immunue system are more susceptible to the disease. Its survival in the hot tub is like that of Pseudomonas aeruginosa – it waits for the perfect condition in the water to propagate. Aside from the pneumonia it causes, the germ can also cause Pontiac fever, a flu-like illness.
- Human waste in the water – the truth is it is not just the water that is the problem, it is the humans too that slip into the hot tub. A person has an average of a tenth of a gram of feces in their gluteal fold (butt crack). This is how much feces is introduced to the water. More people in the tub mean more fecal matter in the water. Even if you do not mind about the gross reality of such contamination, the amount of feces in the water can transmit diseases making it very dangerous to your health.
Then there is the urine. When urine mixes with the sweat already in the pool you get an irritant called chloramine. This causes the stinging sensation in the eyes and can also irritate the respiratory tract.
What can you do?
Hot tub safety is easy and necessary. Doing the following can go a long way in ensuring that hot tub use is safe:
- Avoid at all cost swallowing water in the hot tub
- Take a shower before entering the tub
- Check the number of bathers in the tub. The more people in it the more unsanitary it gets.
- Do not bring your kids with you in the tub
- If pregnant consult your doctor first if getting on a tub is okay for you
Doing these precautions can improve hot tub use. Is my hot tub safe? It can be if as long as you follow maintenance instructions carefully.