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Jonathan Rosenfeld

March 2, 2023

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Hot Tub Drowning Every year hundreds of people die because of drowning in hotel and motel swimming pools. In addition, thousands more suffer from accidents around the pool caused by the negligent conduct of hotels, resorts, and motels.

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our personal injury attorneys are legal advocates for individuals severely harmed or killed: on someone else’s premises. Our legal team can determine if you are eligible to pursue and recover financial compensation for your damages.

Contact a premises liability attorney today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation with our law firm. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

When Relaxing Hot Tubs Become Dangerous

Hot tubs are a popular way to relax and unwind, but they can also be dangerous. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 300 people die each year from hot tub-related accidents. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your hot tub is safe and free of defects before using it.

Unfortunately, most hotels are not properly maintaining their pools to ensure guest safety. Hotels have a responsibility always to keep their guests safe on the property.

Sadly, many hotels do not report incidents or injuries caused by negligence or improper maintenance, leading to further injuries for other guests later down the road.

Hot Tub Drowning & Accident Statistics

In 2019, the CPSC released a report indicating 427 reported hot tub-related deaths between 1999 and 2013. Unfortunately, these numbers only estimated how many injuries caused by pool accidents go unreported each year.

In 2015, there were 6,412 reported hot tub slips and falls resulting in injury. Men tend to be at a greater risk of being injured while using a hot tub than women by 2 to 1.

Men are more likely to be involved in hot tub accidents because they often engage in high-risk behaviors around spas and tubs. These hot tub injuries typically involve back pain and fractures due to improper support when entering the pool.

Typically, the first sign of negligence is a severe hot tub injury after using an inflatable or portable spa. If you have been injured while using a jetted tub at your local resort or hotel, you should consult with an attorney about filing a lawsuit for compensation.

Another common scenario that leads to injury is faulty steps into the pool because they are slippery or missing handrails that can lead to further injury, which could be permanent. Many hot tub injury cases involve serious head injuries leading to personal injury lawsuits.

These injuries occur when hot tub owners and management fail to post sufficient warnings, barricade hazardous areas, or fail to fix any problems that could lead to a hot tub accident.

Hot Tub Dangers – What Can Go Wrong?

Hot tubs can pose serious dangers for individuals who do not use them properly. One common danger associated with hot tubs is slipping while getting in or out of the hot tub or when moving around in it.

The CPSC has reported that people often slip into the bottom of the hot tub because they are using improper bathing attire (i.e., bare feet, flip flops). Other people fall into the hot tub due to faulty steps, handrails, and lighting leading up to it.

Additionally, other injuries in hot tubs may be caused by:

  • Defective components used during maintenance such as improper insulation on power cords resulting in electrocution
  • Burns from improperly maintained water heater causing scalding injuries
  • Malfunctioning jets cause serious burns for individuals sitting over them without proper protection
  • Slip and fall accident when falling on wet or slippery tile near the hot tub or the hot tub floor
  • Drowning that could result from an injury, suffering a seizure, or falling and being knocked unconscious
  • Inappropriate actions including assault by visitors, intruders, hotel workers, or staff members
  • Infections and the body’s reaction to toxic chemicals and materials used in hot tubs

Many people feel that they can relax in a spa or hot tub without worrying about injuries. However, the facility should not be careless and cause any damage.

You could file a civil lawsuit against the facility for damages if a hot tub accident occurs and hold those responsible, including their insurance company, financially accountable for maximum compensation.

Hot Tub Drowning

There is approximately ten times the number of public and private hot tub injuries compared with water parks nationwide. Some of the most common injuries that can occur at a hot tub include:

  • CPSC statistics state that between 1999 and 2013, there were 427 drowning deaths from hot tubs. However, this number may be underrepresented because many drownings in spa pools go unreported or are mistaken for other reasons such as intoxication when they involve drowning.
  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) reports drownings occur in bathtubs more often than any other location in homes, accounting for approximately one-third of all fatalities nationwide each year. Rather than covering it up, hotels must come clean about their standards if another life must be lost due to a lack of attention on their part to safety precautions.

Hot tubs do not have to be dangerous, but they can become one for innocent people without proper maintenance and care by the property owner or manager.

Every property owner with a hot tub has a duty of care for its patrons. It is their responsibility to keep them safe from drowning or other injuries in a spa accident. Failing to do so can result in a wrongful death claim being filed against them by the friends and family of the victim.

Contact our law firm at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) for immediate legal advice during a free case evaluation.

Why Children Are Most Frequently Victims of Hot Tub Accidents

Many hot cup accidents are caused by heat when the temperature of the water exceeds the body’s ability to tolerate the excess warmth. Children with small bodies are at a higher risk for such accidents because their bodies produce proportionately smaller amounts of heat than the amount produced by an adult body.

According to statistics, one child dies every six days in a spa hot tub. Data shows that hot water causes just as many accidental deaths as cold water. The child’s size and age play only a small role if they can get out of the hot water when having issues.

It is important to keep in mind that even small amounts of hot water can cause scald injuries. According to AAPCC, almost 40 percent of scalding cases occur when a child falls into the spa or touches the hot tub.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 50 people die from unintentional drowning each year, and another 5,000 end up in emergency rooms with near-drowning experiences. Most of these victims are children younger than four years old and adults older than 65 years old.

According to AAPCC (American Association for Poison Control Centers), nearly 75% of all young victims of hot-water scalds were burned by hot tap water coming out of bath taps, faucets, or showers.

In the United States, the average water temperature in a hot tub is 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38.89 Celsius). That may not seem like much, but it only takes seconds to cause 3rd-degree burns at this temperature.

Hot-water taps burn kids under five because they do not understand that these temperatures are dangerous. In addition, their mobility skills are limited enough that they may be unable to turn off the tap without supervision once they get into trouble with hot water.

These facts show us that children should never be left unattended in bathtubs or around house spas. Leaving young children unsupervised even for short periods can lead to tragedy.

Better Safe Than Sorry

No matter how young your children are, it should always be your top priority to watch them around the hot tub and any other water source where they could get scalded by hot water. It only takes a second to boil several gallons of water and fill an entire room with steam.

Don’t take the risk – even if you don’t have little ones running around or jumping into the hot tub (which is another no-no and can cause injury to kids). There’s still a chance that someone could fall in the water while recuperating from drinking alcohol or taking medicine, before/while getting treatment for hot tub injuries, etc.

As much as possible, keep the hot tub elevated and use a locking cover to prevent access and accidental drowning. It’s not just the hot water that is dangerous – without proper care and common sense, children can slip or fall into the spa, which can be equally life-threatening.

Child Drownings in Spas Are on the Rise

Hot tubs are no longer considered “just” luxury items for adults only. They are now accessible to pretty much anyone who wants to sit back, relax, decompress after a long day at work or school, or get away from all things stress-related.

However, statistics show that if you have kids around your house spa, you must never share this space with them under any circumstances. Nothing is stopping hot bathwater from getting into the eyes, ears, or nose of a child who’s fallen into it – no matter how young they are.

Naturally, this is also true for pets.

It doesn’t stop there. Not only can kids drown in spas if left unattended, but seniors can too! It takes time to get out of the water once you sit down, and it is impossible to do so if your legs are stiff from arthritis and you have lost mobility due to leg injuries and broken bones.

Do you want to take that risk? What about people on meds that affect their balance or coordination?

You might think that with all these dangers involved around hot tubs, this would deter people from having them altogether. But statistics show otherwise, as more people than ever are using hot tubs in spas.

The good news for property owners is that most drownings in a hot tub accident can be avoided if you take proper precautions and limit access to unattended kids or adults – seniors included – with compromised faculties. The bad news is that over half of all drowning cases happen at home and not in public swimming pools.

Hot Water Burns by Children Falling Into Spas

Even if your hot tub has a locking cover, there still may be a chance that someone could fall into it while playing nearby. Remember, these statistics show us why children under 5 are most likely to suffer from scalding burns from hot water taps, so they should never be around hot tubs without supervision.

Besides falling in the hot tub, you also must consider children who are naturally curious about water. They will put anything in their mouths, so you must always be vigilant when they are near the spa, which means if they go down the street to play, you better stay where you can see them or schedule a babysitter or trusted friend/relative to keep an eye on them until they get home.

While these hot tub accidents may happen in just seconds, it doesn’t mean that your loved ones have much time to survive. Excessive water temperatures, faulty drains, protruding objects, and harm from other defective products can create a deadly outcome for small children resulting in severe hot tub injuries and even death.

Like how people drown in pools and oceans, little children under five years of age don’t stand a chance once submerged in hot water as they do not know how to swim and panic easily. In addition, with smaller bodies and less developed lungs, they are also at risk of inhaling water once they are under the surface.

What You Can Do to Prevent Accidental Drowning in Spas

Putting up a fence around the hot tub is one way to protect kids from drowning accidents – all you must do is attach it to your deck so it can’t be pushed over or climbed over.

Another option is to keep the hot tub completely indoors where children cannot go without supervision nor find keys or codes that open locking covers to gain access.

Due to size restraints, these prevention methods to avoid a hot tub accident do not always work for everyone who wants an outdoor hot tub. However, property owners can always build a different smaller tub close by to keep children safe while enjoying the outdoors safely while preventing a hot tub accident.

Hot Tub Accidents and Seniors

According to health care providers, seniors starting at 65 should take extra caution around water as they could lose their footing from entering deep-end hot tubs. One hospital even warns that people over 50 are at risk for heart problems when immersed in hot water.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to only keep adult family members in charge of operating the outdoor hot tub with locking covers because kids will quickly learn how to open them and gain entry if they can’t swim.

If you want peace of mind, use covers with child safety locks so anyone under 5 or 10, depending on your spa size, cannot get in without an adult password which should be changed regularly.

Like children under five, seniors are also at risk of getting into hot water if the temperature is too high and the spa or hot tub. On average, spas should not exceed 104°F (40°C), but if they do, there could be severe repercussions in serious hot tub injuries like cardiac arrest, which can happen in less than 5 minutes.

Statistics show how older adults absorb heat faster in hot tubs due to thinner skin, so it makes sense why you must keep their spa water within a safe range. If your house spa doesn’t have a thermostat or preset temperatures, always keep it at about chest level when adults are in the tub so they don’t get burned.

Slip and fall accidents are common hot tub accidents in apartment complexes, hospitals, and public pools at home. In these areas, inadequate fencing poses potential dangers if warning signs are not posted in the surrounding area.

Hire Hot Tub Accident Lawyers to Resolve Your Spa Accident Claim

Are you the victim of a hot tub accident harmed through another’s negligence? Did you lose a loved one through wrongful death from catastrophic hot hub injuries?

At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC, our hot tub accident attorneys are legal advocates for those harmed by someone else’s failure to follow safety measures. Our drowning accident attorneys have been helping victims harmed by the negligent actions of others for decades. So, let’s discuss your legal options.

Contact the hot tub accident attorney at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form to schedule a free case evaluation and receive immediate legal advice.

Our law firm accepts all claims and lawsuits involving hot tub accidents on a contingency fee basis. This promise ensures you pay nothing until we resolve your case through a negotiated settlement or jury award was sufficient funds to pay your medical expenses, lost income, and pain-and-suffering damages.

All confidential or sensitive information and evidence you share with our skilled team of hot tub accident lawyers constitute an attorney-client relationship. Contact our law firm now to ensure you make a legal claim before the statute of limitations expires.


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Jonathan Rosenfeld was professionally objective, timely, and knowledgeable. Also, his advice was extremely effective regarding my case. In addition, Jonathan was understanding and patient pertaining to any of my questions or concerns. I was very happy with the end result and I highly recommend Jonathan Rosenfeld.

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Extremely impressed with this law firm. They took control of a bad motorcycle crash that left my uncle seriously injured. Without any guarantee of a financial recovery, they went out and hired accident investigators and engineers to help prove how the accident happened. I am grateful that they worked on a contingency fee basis as there was no way we could have paid for these services on our own.

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Jonathan helped my family heal and get compensation after our child was suffered a life threatening injury at daycare. He was sympathetic and in constant contact with us letting us know all he knew every step of the way. We were so blessed to find Jonathan!

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This lawyer really helped me get compensation for my motorcycle accident case. I know there is no way that I could have gotten anywhere near the amount that Mr. Rosenfeld was able to get to settle my case. Thank you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial.

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