A couple are sending out a warning about using hot tubs during lockdown after their four children came up in itchy hives caused by low chlorine.
Kristoffer Twyman, 39, and Melody Scowen, 37, from Romford, Essex, had decided to make the most of last month’s warm weather by firing up their hot tub for all the family to enjoy together.
However, the couple were left shocked when their six-year-old daughter Ember developed chicken pox-like spots all over her face, neck, shoulders back and chest.
Meanwhile, their other three children – Genie, 8, Eloise 7, and Agatha, 3 – began to develop rashes and bacterial infections.
“It was a panic because we hadn’t seen anything like it,” demolition labourer Kristoffer said.
“We thought it was chickenpox but the kids have had them so we had no idea what they were.
“They looked like white heads and Ember’s were itchy.”
After a frantic Google, the couple soon worked out that the rashes had been caused by lack of chlorine in the hot tub, which they has purchased three years ago.
“We never had any issues for the first three years,” said Melody.
“I always thought we would smell a chemical problem or be able to see a cleanliness problem but apparently I was wrong.
“Children shouldn’t be in a hot tub over 36 degrees and shouldn’t submerge their eyes and ears which is almost impossible.
“They need to have their hair washed and be showered after every use.
“A hot tub need to be tested every day before anyone gets in to check for harmful levels of chlorine.
“I wish I’d known these things before. I feel awful for hurting my babies.
“All four have had various rashes and bacterial infections.”
The parents quickly emptied the hot tub and bleached it while they lathered Ember in chickenpox cream. It took eight days for her rash to finally heal.
“She just had the rash on her face at first and we thought they were just regular spots but then they spread across her back like chickenpox so we got worried,” the dad added.
“It was around her shoulders and neck mainly because the chlorine had stuck to her hair and it was rubbing against her.
“Every time the kids go in there, we religiously make them wash in special soap that gets rid of chlorine rather than regular soap and they didn’t go back in the hot tub until the spots had cleared up.
“Up until that point they were just bathing with regular soap in the evenings.
“The kids were going in every day because it’s nice to get into something warm but hot tubs don’t come with a warning about this.”
Melody shared the incident on Facebook as a warning to other parents, with her post quickly racking up over 24,000 shares.
Kristoffer said: “We shared the photos because we were aware of how many people were going mad for them and our friends were posting photos online of their kids in hot tubs.
“We hadn’t been using chlorine testing strips but we had the chlorine floater in there and when the water looked murky we’d empty and clean it.
“I want to tell parents that they’ve got to keep on top of it.
“The chlorine level has to be tested and people don’t realise that chlorine evaporates because it’s hot water so you have to put chlorine in it every day.”
We had no idea low chlorine could cause rashes like this. It’s definitely one to keep in mind if you own a hot tub!