The tragic death of Matthew Perry, who shot to fame as one of the stars in the popular television show Friends, has left many of his fans devastated and searching for answers. As many likely know, he tragically drowned in his hot tub at his Los Angeles home in Pacific Palisades.
To begin, today’s blog will not be speculating about the potential causes of the tragic death of Matthew Perry. The actor’s long-time fans are likely aware of his public struggles with addiction and recovery, however it was revealed that there were no drugs found in his system at the time of his death. As of this writing, there is still not a clear answer for what caused the drowning incident.
In hopes to educate and prevent further tragedies, this blog will simply take this opportunity to address some of the potential hot tub dangers that we’ve highlighted in the past. These tips speak not only to substance abuse, but also to risks associated with children, pregnant women and more. It is every water safety expert’s wish to help prevent accidental drowning. As such, we’ll take a look at several risks associated with hot tubs.
Rather than speculate, let's talk about how to stay safe around hot tubs. Learning these tips can help to prevent accidents.
Matthew Perry’s Legacy
Matthew Perry was laid to rest in Los Angeles. His family and Friends castmates were there. It was reportedly an intimate memorial.
Perry wanted to be known for helping people with addiction. Last year, he said he'd rather be remembered for his outreach work than for his time on Friends. In fact, in 2013, he opened a sober living facility called Perry House. Less than a week after his death, a foundation was founded in his name to carry on his work. According to the mission statement of The Matthew Perry Foundation, the organization “will follow his words and experiences and do its best to help many people.”
Now let’s take a look at several factors that can cause danger when using hot tubs.
Existing Health Conditions and Medications
Many adults with medical conditions should be cautious when swimming in a pool or hot tub. These conditions can be exacerbated in certain circumstances and make it more difficult to get help. This is true of people with heart conditions, arthritis, and vision problems, for example.
Those with high blood pressure should be careful of the drastic temperature shifts when using and exiting a hot tub. Very hot and cold temperatures can affect one’s blood pressure. To prevent complications, aim to keep the hot tub’s temperature at around 100°F and keep your body temperature regulated by not staying in the tub for long periods of time.
In addition, certain medications that treat some health ailments can cause increased dizziness or drowsiness, so these side effects should also be considered before using the hot tub as well.
Stay Germ-Free in the Water
It is always important to properly clean a hot tub. Believe it or not, hot water can be a breeding ground for nasty germs like Legionnaire’s Disease, E. Coli, and Cryptosporidium. If exposed, these can make you seriously sick. If you have an open sore or rash, see a doctor before getting in a hot tub. With proper forethought and cleanup, you can keep yourself and others safe from infections.
Hot Tub Dangers and Substance Abuse
When you mix alcohol or drugs with swimming, you're asking for trouble. Alcohol can affect your decision-making and coordination. Even worse, you could pass out in the water. All of these circumstances can prove fatal, so it’s never smart to drink and swim.
Also, if you're watching over kids in the pool or hot tub, stay sober. Being a responsible supervisor is crucial. Drinking can make you less attentive and unable to help a child in need.
Alcohol or drugs and hot tubs are a risky combination. Having these in your system affects your coordination and can make you doze off, especially in hot water. Stick to non-alcoholic beverages while soaking in a hot tub.
Hot Tubs and Pregnancy
If you're pregnant, be cautious around hot tubs. Some tubs can get too hot, and that's not good for your baby. Avoid water over 100°F, and keep your body temperature below 102.2 degrees. It's essential to be extra careful.
Hot Tubs and a Danger of Scalding
Scalds happen when you get burned by something wet, like hot water. In fact, they're even more common than fire burns. Children under four years old are most at risk for scald injuries. The American Burn Association reports that over 500,000 people in the U.S. get scalded every year, especially those with sensitive skin. While most hot tub burns are mild, severe scalds can lead to blisters.
Thermal burns, skin injuries caused by excessive heat, usually affect children under five and adults over 65. To stay safe, adults should limit their hot tub time to 15 minutes. The American Red Cross recommends that kids under five don't use hot tubs at all because their bodies handle heat differently and can overheat quickly.
The tragic death of Matthew Perry is something that affected many people. Again, we would never wish to be opportunistic about another person’s pain. The fact is, water safety is important for all of us. In these teachable moments, it pays to spread the word.