Hot Tub Drowning

Each year nearly one American drowns in a hot tub every day. Although not given media attention, hot tub drownings are more common than they may expect. If you have lost a loved one to a hot tub drowning or near-drowning, you should contact a walk-in tub and hot tub accident lawyer today.

What Makes Hot Tubs So Dangerous?

You may be wondering how a tub that is filled with less than three feet of water can be so dangerous. Surprisingly, there are a variety of factors at play.

Many people use hot tubs to unwind. Adding to the risk, many adults like to drink alcohol while soaking in a hot tub. When a person is inebriated, they may become overheated without realizing it. Given the heat of the hot tub and the consumption of alcohol, blood vessels dilate, which results in a drop in blood pressure. The sudden drop in blood pressure can cause a person to faint, which leads to drowning.

Deaths can also occur if a hot tub lid unexpectedly closes when someone is using the tub. These lids are very heavy, and a person may be unable to lift one up and free themselves.

Devastatingly, hot tub filters are notorious for trapping occupants. Since the purpose of the filters is to keep the tub water clean, they are strong. If an occupant’s hair gets caught in one of the filters, it may create a suction by sealing the drain. The occupant will have his or her head stuck underwater and drown.

Since 1978 there have been 49 reported cases of people getting their hair stuck in hot tubs or pool drains. Of these 49 swimmers, 13 died.

What Age Groups are Most at Risk?

In children ages 1-4, drowning is the leading cause of death. Since children have limited experience in the water, they have not honed the skills needed to remain safe in the water.

73% of reported fatal drowning victims were children under the age of 5. Children under the age of 5 represent 80% of children who have been treated in emergency departments with a nonfatal hot tub or pool-related injuries.

Although children under the age of 5 are most at risk of drowning, kids under the age of 15 are also susceptible to near-drowning or drowning. From 2017 to 2019, there were 389 pool- or hot tub-related deaths. The pandemic has only exacerbated the issue, causing a 17% spike in drowning incidents from 2020 to 2022.

Where Do Most Hot Tub Drownings Take Place?

The majority of hot tub drownings occur at home. In fact, between 2018 and 2020, a reported 50 children under the age of 5 who visited the ER were injured in a home hot tub or pool.

Furthermore, 70% of reported deaths for children under 15 years old took place in residential settings, whether it be at the victim’s home, a neighbor’s house, or a friend’s house.

Are Men or Women More at Risk of Drowning?

Men are twice as likely to die in hot tubs compared to women. This is not limited to just hot tubs. Nearly 80% of people who drown – in any setting – are male.

Men generally take more risks than women and are even reckless when it comes to spending time in the water. Also, men are more likely to be drinking than women.

Even male children are more likely to be treated in the ER for near drownings than female children. In fact, drowning statistics show that 68% of children who drowned were boys, compared to 32% being girls. Such numbers are devastating and display an issue that must be addressed.

Drowning Prevention

There are a number of steps that can be taken to keep both children and adults safe:

  • Never leave a child unattended near or in the water
  • Have barriers around a pool or hot tub to prevent a child from entering a hot tub unsupervised
  • Learn how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • Learn to swim and teach your child how to swim
  • Ensure that your hot tub complies with the U.S. federal safety standards
  • Have access to a cell phone if you need to call for help

Further Precautionary Measures

Spa owners can take separate preventive measures to ensure everyone’s safety. A timer switch can be installed that turns off the jets at set intervals. This will prevent a hot tub occupant from staying in too long.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that hot tubs are set to a temperature of 104 degrees. Higher temperatures are risky. An occupant can suffer medical complications from staying in water that is too warm, resulting in death.

Additionally, spa owners can install vacuum-breaking lines that will shut off if a child’s (or adult’s) hair or any body part clogs the filter.

What Types of Injuries Can Occur from Near-Drowning?

When a person nearly drowns, they often experience major deficits. The victim will have a build-up of fluid in the lungs which must be suctioned out in order to breathe properly.

A person who experiences near-drowning may exhibit bluish skin, trouble breathing, chest pain, and abdominal swelling.

Depending on how long a person was deprived of oxygen, the victim could suffer from the following injuries:

How Can a Hot Tub Accident Lawyer Help?

A hot tub accident lawyer will be able to examine your case and determine if the hot tub owner, or any other person, was negligent.

Every lawsuit has a discovery phase. In reviewing the pertinent facts in your situation, we will be able to develop questions that will get to the heart of who was liable. We believe that the wrongful party should be brought to justice.

A Diligent Las Vegas Hot Tub and Walk-in Tub Accident Lawyer

Although hot tubs are meant to be a relaxing experience, they are often hazards. If your loved one has fallen victim to a near-drowning or has drowned, you are not alone.

Hot tubs can malfunction, and even someone who has taken all safety precautions can be injured or even die. Discussing your case with a hot tub and walk-in tub accident lawyer can help bring you closure to such a terrible event. Contact us today to request your free consultation.

Benjamin P. Cloward

In 2016, at the age of 37, Benjamin P. Cloward became the youngest lawyer in the history of the State of Nevada to be awarded the prestigious “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Nevada Justice Association. That same year, he became the youngest member of the Nevada, Las Vegas Chapter of ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates), and at the time was also the youngest person in the State of Nevada to be Board Certified as a Personal Injury Specialist.

Practice areas: personal injury, car accidents, truck accidents, wrongful death, Greyhound bus accidents, and walk-in tub accidents.
Location: Las Vegas, NV

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Cloward Trial Lawyers
9950 W Cheyenne Ave Las Vegas, NV 89129

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