Hot Tub Injuries on the Rise
Nonfatal Spa-Related Injuries Increased by 160% From 1990 to 2007
Nov. 5, 2009 -- Relaxing in a backyard hot tub may be fun, but potential
dangers lurk. A new study shows that as the popularity of hot tubs has
increased, so has the number of injuries.
Researchers analyzed emergency room records from 1990 until 2007. During
that period, the number of nonfatal hot tub, whirlpool, and spa-related
injuries increased by 160%, from about 2,500 in 1990 to more than 6,600 in
Most injuries happened to people who were aged 17 and older, though some of
the serious injuries, including near-drownings, were more likely to involve
young children. Overall, the most common injury was a laceration. Body parts
most affected were the lower extremities and the head. The most common ways
people injured themselves were through slips and falls.
"Although some steps have been taken to make hot tubs safer, increased
prevention efforts are needed," study author Lara McKenzie, principal
investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide
Children's Hospital and a faculty member of The Ohio State University College
of Medicine, said in a written statement.
In their conclusion, study authors called for more research into what is
causing the injuries. They also encouraged people to follow safety precautions,
- Put slip-resistant surfacing in and around the hot tub.
- Limit time and temperature of hot tub exposure to 10 to 15 minutes at no
more than 104° F.
- Comply with suction cover standards.
- Parents should keep hot tubs covered and locked when not in use, consider
installing a fence or barrier around the area, and set rules prohibiting
jumping and diving.