Installing a swim spa in your backyard brings the pleasure of swimming right to your home. However, swim spas also introduce some safety concerns that you need to be aware of. Although rare, injuries can occur if proper precautions aren’t taken.
Make safety your top priority by following these important safety tips:
Supervise Children and Pets
Drowning poses one of the biggest risks associated with swim spas. Never allow children to be in or around the swim spa unsupervised. Secure the swim spa with locked safety covers and fences. Establish and enforce rules prohibiting unsupervised use.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends swim spa owners with children also install door alarms on the house to prevent sneaking out. It’s also wise to keep pets away from the swim spa when not accompanied by an adult. Some pets may try to enter the swim spa on their own and risk drowning.
Practice Electrical Safety
As with any body of water and electric appliance, electrocution is a hazard if your swim spa is not properly wired and grounded. Installation should always be done by a licensed electrician following codes for outdoor electrical service.
Ensure there is a clearly labeled emergency shutoff switch for the swim spa electrical system.
Inspect the cords for any cracks, damage, or exposed wires. Never place electrical devices like lights or radios too close to the swim spa. Check with a voltage meter annually to be sure your swim spa’s electrical components are working safely.
Maintain Proper Water Chemistry
This prevents the growth of bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants that can cause skin rashes or illnesses. Well-balanced water also controls corrosion that can damage the swim spa components. Test and adjust the chemicals daily per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Shock the water weekly and replace filters as needed to keep things in check. Consider an automated chemical monitoring system for your swim spa for added safety and convenience.
Practice Good Hygiene
In addition to balancing chemicals, preventing the introduction of contaminants is key. Insist that all swimmers shower before and after using the swim spa. Remind everyone not to urinate or release other bodily excretions in the swim spa water. Never use the swim spa if you have open cuts, sores, or bleeding. Make sure you wash swimming suits regularly to prevent bringing dirt, sweat, and other substances into the water.
Manage the Temperature
Extreme water temperatures pose a couple different safety issues. Water that is too hot (over 104°F) raises the risk of overheating or even heat stroke during exercise. Kids are particularly susceptible to heat risks. On the other end of the spectrum, allowing the water to dip below 65°F increases the chance of hypothermia.
Set your swim spa to remain in the safe 84-102°F range. Use the locking cover when not in use to maintain proper temperature. The cover also prevents burns from direct contact with hot water. Consider purchasing an insulated floor mat for cooler climates to keep bare feet from getting burned on chilly ground surfaces.
Be Responsible to Prevent Injuries During Use
Exercising in a swim spa requires paying close attention to your body’s limits. Don’t overdo it when working out or swimming laps in your new swim spa. Start slowly and gradually increase duration and intensity over time.
Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after swimming. Listen to your body and get out to take breaks as needed to avoid muscle strains or other injuries.
Select a model with adjustable water currents so you can find the ideal resistance level for your fitness level.
Handrails, steps, or benches make entering and exiting the swim spa safer. Cool down slowly after exercising to prevent dizziness or fainting. Supervise elderly or frail users closely in case they become fatigued or get into distress while swimming.
Practice Safe Entry and Exit
Many injuries like slips, falls, stubbed toes, and even drowning occur during the simple acts of getting in and out of the swim spa. Take preventative measures like installing non-slip deck surfaces, secure rails, and night lighting around your swim spa.
Be sure to dry off completely and watch your step getting in or out. Hard falls on wet, hard surfaces can cause serious injuries like head trauma or broken bones. Avoid alcohol before or during swim spa use as it impairs balance and coordination.
Carefully following these swim spa safety tips provides peace of mind, and your family can safely enjoy your swim spa moments for years to come.