There has been a drastic increase in the number of injuries from hot tubs over last 18 years, say researchers.
The study conducted by the Centre for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital showed that from 1990-2007, the number of unintentional hot tub-related injuries increased by 160 percent.
It showed 73 percent of the patients with hot tub-related injuries were older than 16 and approximately one half of all injuries resulted from slips and falls.
Lacerations were the most commonly reported injuries and the lower extremities (and the head were the most frequently injured body parts.
"While the majority of injuries occurred among patients older than 16, children are still at high risk for hot tub-related injuries," said study author Dr Lara McKenzie, PhD, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital.
"Due to the differing mechanisms of injury and the potential severity of these injuries, the pediatric population deserves special attention," McKenzie added.
Among children younger than 6 years, near-drowning was the most prevalent mechanism of injury, accounting for more than two-thirds of injuries, while children ages 6-12 were more likely to be injured by jumping and diving in or around a hot tub.
The most severe hot tub-related injuries associated with suction drains (such as entanglement, body entrapment and drowning) are predominately seen in children.
Experts have recommended placing slip resistant surfacing in and around the hot tub and limiting time and temperature of hot tub exposure to 10-15 minutes at no more than 104° F can help prevent injuries.
Additionally, to prevent injuries to children, parents should keep hot tubs covered and locked when not in use, consider installing a fence or barrier around the area, set rules prohibiting jumping and diving, and comply with suction cover standards.
"Although some steps have been taken to make hot tubs safer, increased prevention efforts are needed," McKenzie added.