How Dangerous Is That Hotel Hot Tub?
Hot tubs are wonderful inventions and a lot of people enjoy them, especially while on vacation. However, they can also be highly dangerous—and even deadly. This is what you should know.
Hot Tubs Have Hidden Dangers.
Out of the more than 6,000 hot tub injuries every year, the majority of injuries are caused by slips and falls. The rest of the injuries vary considerably, including:
- a lack of barriers to prevent young children from getting into the tubs
- an absence of lifeguards or safety guards
- defective pool equipment
- exposed screws underwater
- slippery or slimy surfaces from improper cleaning
An additional concern is that many hot tubs lack safety grates on their vacuum drains and/or have no safety release mechanisms to stop the suction action of the drains if someone gets caught on one.
In one incident, a visitor at a resort hotel was caught in a hot tub's suction drain and drowned because he was unable to lift his head above the water. Relatives would have been able to rescue him if they'd had access to an emergency shut-off device.
Heat-Related Injuries Can Also Occur.
About 10% of injuries in hot tubs are due to overexposure to heat. Safety recommendations include keeping water at 104 degrees or less and keeping dips in the tub to no more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
However, hotels rarely post warnings indicating as much to guests. As a result, guests often don't realize that they can suffer from heat exhaustion or even skin burns.
The Consequences Can Be Severe.
Drowning is always a possibility, especially if someone hits their head or gets trapped below water level. But there are also many other injuries that can occur, including brain injuries and comas caused by oxygen deprivation.
Other common injuries include broken bones and injuries to necks, backs, and hips.
What Can You Do If You Or Someone You Love Has Been Injured?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to sue the hotel or owner of the hot tub for damages if the hotel or owner failed to take adequate safety measures to ensure the safety of guests, such as posting warning signs or restricting access to children. Property owners also have a general responsibility to keep the premises safe for their guests, and that includes making sure that the tub was properly maintained and cleaned.
The manufacturer of the hot tub may also be liable for damages if it turns out that the tub is poorly designed or defective in some way that contributed to the accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a hot tub accident, contact a personal injury attorney promptly in order to discuss your claim.