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News: November 12, 2009

Increase in hot tub injuries raises concern for children

November 12, 2009

New findings show that over the past two decades, injuries from hot tubs have been increasing. A national study conducted by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that hot tub injuries increased from 2,500 to more than 6,600 injuries per year between 1990 and 2007. Most injuries occur in those over age sixteen, but children are especially at risk for serious injury.

The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, shows that half of hot tub injuries are from slipping or falling. The most common injuries were cuts, head injuries and trauma to the lower extremities. Most of the injuries happened among individuals over age 16.

Study author Lara McKenzie, PhD, principal investigator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital says the study raises concerns for the safety of children. Hot tubs have become popular, but could pose risks to children from drowning and injuries from jumping.

Near drowning in the hot tub was the most common injury in children under age six. Children age six to twelve sustain injury from diving and jumping around. Suction drains have been found to cause the most severe injuries and include drowning, body entrapment, and entanglement.

Dr. MacKenzie says, "Although some steps have been taken to make hot tubs safer, increased prevention efforts are needed."

Suggestions to prevent hot tub injuries include:

- Setting the temperature no greater than 104 degrees

- Limit time spent in the hot tub to no more than fifteen minutes

- Keep hot tubs covered and locked when unused to prevent injuries to children

- Comply with suction cover standards set by the Federal government

- Put a fence or barrier around the hot tub to discourage children from playing

- Do not let your children jump or dive in the hot tub


The study shows that hot tubs are becoming more popular, and with their popularity, injuries are also on the rise. The study authors are particularly concerned about hot tub injuries that occur among children, recommending increased safety efforts to curb hot tub related injuries, including near drowning in children and severe injury from non-compliance with suction cover standards.

Nationwide Children's Hospital



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Infectious disease experts are calling for a moratorium on OSHA guidelines for health care employees that require the use of fit-tested N95 respirators for personal protection from H1N1 flu. Three leading infectious disease organizations, have written a letter to President Obama citing lack of scientific evidence that N95 respirators offer additional protection from the virus, compared to surgical masks. The scientific groups urge new guidelines for H1N1 flu protection for ...

November 27, 2009 | Air Pollution Raises Infants' Risk of Bronchiolitis

Infants who are exposed to higher levels of air pollution, including vehicle and industrial emissions and wood smoke, are at increased risk for bronchiolitis. The study is unique because it evaluated multiple sources of air pollution and their impact on infants' health.  Bronchiolitis is a ...

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