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The Risks Brewing in Hot Tubs

Bacteria, Germs and Dehydration Loom

Hot tub risks

By John Hand —

The hot water and jets of a hot tub are perfect for decompressing after work, relaxing after a workout or providing a great spot to catch up with friends. So yes, there are endless reasons to slide in for a soothing soak. Of course, for all the benefits, hot tubs have their risks.

Physical injuries from slipping or tripping getting into or out of a hot tub aside, it is essential to regulate the temperature of the water, WbeMD.com reported. It should never be above 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, the temperature should hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are several reasons to avoid overheating the water. High temperatures can dehydrate someone taking the plunge, so dippers should properly hydrate before getting in. It includes minimizing the amount of alcohol consumed. Beyond this, pregnant women should avoid the experience altogether because a hot tub can raise their body’s temperature, potentially affecting the baby’s neural tube, which can risk causing birth-defects like spina bifida or anencephaly.

Hot tubs also serve as watery Petri dishes, which means bacteria thrive in hot water and surrounding surfaces. Washing before and after entering a hot tub is one way to lessen the risk of introducing new bacteria into the tub while reducing the chances of bacteria lingering on someone’s skin after they get out.

It is also a good idea to avoid crowded hot tubs. The more people in the hot tub, the more germs lurking. It is another good idea to skip any tubs with water that appears dirty because it may indicate problems. These units require regular maintenance that includes regularly changing water and maintaining the correct levels of pH and chlorine concentrations. If there isn’t proper maintanace, bacteria, germs and infections can grow.

A common bacterium in hot tubs is pseudomonas, which causes red, itchy bumps on the belly and areas covered by the bathing suit. Another common bacterium found in hot tubs is cryptosporidium. This germ can cause GI infections.

Of course, maintained hot tubs with water temperatures at appropriate levels offer real health benefits. They can promote relaxation and ease stress and anxiety, according to Healthline.com. The hot water also helps lower blood pressure, which can benefit people with cardiovascular issues. Another benefit comes from their ability to help ease aches and pains from muscles and joints. It occurs because the hot water relaxes the blood vessels, allowing oxygen, protein and important nutrients to more easily reach and repair muscles.

Want more? According to Watson’s information site, sitting in a hot tub has been shown to improve sleep

Hot tub health awareness—and its related benefits—is more important than ever because hot tubs are more popular now. Demand during the pandemic for these soaking sites may to grow by almost ten percent between 2021 and 2026.

With the popularity of hot tubs increasing, it is important to understand the health risks and benefits before jumping in. No one, after all, wants to sit in a poorly maintained tub.

 

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