Precautions for Warm-Water Pools

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Warm-water pool use carries additional risks to your health than cool-water pools. When overheated, your body sweats to cool down. When submerged in warm or hot water, sweat can't do its job, and your body temperature remains elevated. Dehydration can occur, as well as loss of consciousness and even death. Take the proper precautions to ensure safety when bathing in a warm-water pool, spa or whirlpool.

Pregnancy

  • A pregnant body already is under a large amount of stress, and it's important pregnant women don't become overheated -- due to the risk for birth defects. Soaking in a warm-water pool or spa increases basal body temperature to a point that could cause expectant mothers to faint or become dizzy and disoriented. Many physicians and other experts recommend that women avoid all use of warm-water pools and spas during pregnancy, and this is the safest policy.

Alcohol Consumption

  • Alcohol consumption is not recommended during bathing in a warm-water pool, hot tub or whirlpool. Not only does alcohol dehydrate the body, but when combined with the high temperature of the water, your body can become severely overheated before you realize there's a problem. Dehydration, overheating and intoxication can all cause fainting, which may result in injury or death by drowning. Furthermore, glass bottles should never be used in a hot tub as they can break when exposed to fluctuations between extreme heat and cold.

Temperature Guidelines

  • Cool-water pool temperatures range from 75 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit, with a median comfortable range of 80 to 84 degrees for normal swimmers. By comparison, warm-water pools or hot tubs are anywhere from 85 to 104 degrees. To minimize the risk of overheating, it is not recommended to bathe in water more than 104 degrees. Prolonged exposure at the upper end of the temperature range is risky, and you should limit exposure to no more than 15 minutes at a time.

Drains and Jets

  • Like any other kind of pool, a warm-water pool or hot tub features drains as well as inlets for clean water. A spa has water jets as well, and all of these pose a potential hazard during a malfunction. Keep hands, fingers, feet and clothing away from the drains and jets to avoid getting caught and stuck under water. Make sure your pool is maintained regularly, and all drains and jets are fitted with the proper fixtures and covers.

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