A spa is a fantastic place to relax and unwind after a long day at work, but it’s essential to know how to ensure spa safety for the entire family and take the necessary precautions. Children and animals can be inquisitive by nature, which can lead them into dangerous situations. The following tips will help ensure your family has a safe time in your spa.
Make sure everyone is familiar with the spa and how it works
When your family are using the spa for the first time, make sure everyone understands how it works:
- How to turn jets on and off.
- How to adjust the temperature.
- Exit and entry points.
- Safe behaviour in and around the water.
Know the safety requirements in your state
Legislation is in place to ensure the safety of Australians when using swimming pools and spas. When you are across this legislation, you understand the safety standards and how to protect your family best.
The first step is to register your spa with your local council. All spas and pools in Victoria must now be registered with local councils, and there are expensive penalties for those who do not register.
The next step is to obtain a Safety Compliance Certificate from a registered safety inspector. To do this, you will need to make sure you adhere to the current spa safety standard, which you can read about here.
Having a compliant barrier fence and gate is one of the best ways to protect your family against drowning and injury risks around water. Read more about how barrier fences can reduce the risk of drowning.
Stay on top of Safety compliance
Staying on top of safety compliance is the best way to ensure your family’s spa time always remains enjoyable and safe. Many families use spas for their relaxing benefits, but it can often be easy to overlook some basic rules when you’re busy with other responsibilities. Make it a habit to do regular self-assessment of the spa barrier fence, gate and surrounding area. Make necessary repairs and amendments as soon as the need arises.
Supervise children at all times
It is recommended that an adult or responsible person should always supervise children using a spa. It’s a common misconception that spas are safer for children than pools. However, a child can drown in as little as 20cm of water.
A child doesn’t need to be out of sight for long before becoming submerged in water. If you are not by the spa, make sure your young ones do not stray near the water and never rely on floating devices like inflatable armbands or noodles to keep them safe from drowning.
Never take your eyes off a child in the water.
Invest in a high-quality hardcover
When not in use, make sure your spa is completely enclosed with a high-quality hardcover that reduces the risk of injury and prevents access to small children. Hardcovers are heavy and more difficult for children to lift and gain access to the water. In the same stroke, it can be easy for children to become trapped under the cover if it’s misused and placed over them while they’re in the spa. Therefore, it is critical that all family members know safe behaviour regarding covers and water safety.
Understand the impacts of heated spa water and hydration
Spas can often be heated to 40 degrees Celsius, which can cause serious issues for children. Spa use is not recommended for children under the age of five, given the high temperatures and risk of dehydration.
Ensure there is a hydration station close by for all spa users to have easy access to water. Limit sessions to 20 minutes for younger spa users.
Make sure you have CPR signage
It’s important to make sure your family knows how to perform basic first aid like CPR if needed. CPR can save a life and is very easy to learn, but it’s most effective when performed quickly after an incident occurs. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to forget how to perform CPR, so it is helpful to have CPR signage within the spa area, so it’s there when it’s needed most.
Make time with every family member to practice responding in an emergency and where to find the CPR information.
Make sure the surrounding area of your spa is safe
Spas should always be located in a safe environment that does not pose any risk for injury or drowning hazards for children. Remove potential hazards like sharp edges, climbable objects, tripping hazards and slippery surfaces. Make sure there are no electrical wires or other hazards.
Keep any chemicals adequately stored away in a safe place
Chemicals should always be stored away from children and kept in a safe place. Store chemicals like chlorine properly to avoid accidents or injuries that could result from contact with the material. Ensure you dispose of expired products at appropriate locations if needed, rather than pouring them down your drain.
Learn how to properly store hazardous water chemicals here.
Ensure spa water chemicals are balanced and sanitary
Ensure that spa chemicals in the water are balanced and the water is sanitary before or after each use. Ensure the water is clean and free of contaminants like animal hair and debris to prevent bacteria growth. Ensure your filter system is working properly and check pH levels regularly (at least once a week).
Key spa safety takeaways
- It’s important to ensure that your family’s spa experience is always safe – including pets.
- Understand what compliance means and stay on top of any safety changes.
- Make sure you have CPR signage readily accessible.
- The law is that you have a compliant barrier fence around your spa so people and animals can’t get close enough to drown.
- Be aware of how heated water will affect people differently depending on their age, weight, size, etc., and hydration levels.
- Avoid illness or skin irritation by ensuring the water is sanitary and chemicals are balanced.
- Store water chemicals away safely.
- Finally, never rely on floating devices like noodles or arm floaties to keep children safe in the water.
Keeping your family safe in the spa is just as important as any water safety. With the tips above, you are well on your way to ensure everyone can enjoy their time in the spa with minimal risk.