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From baby massage to teenage spa treatments: how old do you need to be to go to a spa? 

baby massage

The question of whether children and teenagers can use spas is not a one word answer. It’s very much dependent on their age, the destination, whether you’re talking about facilities, treatments or both, as well as your personal decisions. When it comes to spa treatments, they’re generally only permitted for anyone over the age of 16, sometimes 18 depending on the location. However, there are some spa destinations that are beginning to offer treatments for teenagers, and that can support new parents in learning and administering baby massage as well.

How old do you need to be to go to a spa?

In general, most spas will not allow anyone under the age of 16, and in some cases 18, to have treatments. If it is a specialised spa destination or a specialised spa within a hotel, anyone under the age of 16 may also not be permitted to use spa facilities either. 

Depending on the facilities, there may be some element of concern as to whether they are safe for children, but often this is also about consideration for other guests and the type of environment a spa is endeavouring to preserve for its clients. Sometimes that might seem unfair, but it’s important to respect everyone who is trying to enjoy their down time. 

The good news is that there are many different types of spa to choose from, and plenty have different options where children and teenagers can also be included to a greater or lesser extent. Meanwhile, others have childcare facilities and entertainment so that parents can have a little R&R while children are safely looked after.

All of this said, spa experiences can be a wonderful way to help children enjoy their wellbeing and to introduce them to healthy habits for life. There are lots of little ways you can start to bring a sense of spa into their lives at home too. For example, certain essential oils, like mandarin, are a great way to calm toddler tantrums. You can find out more in our Spa at Home Guide for kids.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SPAS AND CHILDREN FROM OUR FAMILY SPA GUIDE

Baby massage and where to find it

Babies are generally not allowed at spas, however many new mums find that learning about how to administer baby massage can be a wonderful way to bond. It is a practice that’s almost as old as time, and the aim of baby massage is of course the same. As multifaceted as it is with adults, it has the added emotional benefits for both parent and child, and using a far gentler approach.  

Massage provokes sensory reactions in infancy, supporting brain development and promoting muscular strength and joint flexibility. Having sought the advice of a professional or doctor, it can be a lovely way to introduce a sense of spa wellbeing at home from a young age. Some spas also offer guidance in baby massage, such as Cloud Twelve in London, where they offer massages for infants with a Family Space qualified practitioner, as well as supporting parents wishing to learn massaging skills. 

READ MORE ABOUT BABY MASSAGE

Massage and spa experiences for teenagers

As teenagers we go through so much physical and emotional change, it can be overwhelming at times. Learning to be comfortable in these ‘new’ bodies of ours, learning to take care of our skin, dealing with growing pains and the unending challenge of body confidence as we get older is hard. Massage is a wonderful way to help us come to terms with it all in a very positive and healing way.

Our bodies and minds will need different things at different times of our lives. It’s not all about going deep and kneading the knots from your neck and shoulders. Gentle movement and muscle manipulation with stretch and breathing can be as connected and deeply soothing as an elbow in your ears. 

Equally, for teenagers learning to look after their changing skin, a therapist can be a helpful source of information, and some spas will even offer gentle facials for teenagers. It may be that while we are in the midst of a bit of a body image crisis, a spa can provide a safe space to learn and understand. 

For example, Brooklands Spa Hotel in Surrey offers a Little Miss Piece of Heaven spa day using the Little Miss product range for teenagers aged 13 to 17 years, while The Ickworth even offers an Adult and Child Time Together with a 15-minute mini treatment suitable for children aged eight to 16 years old.

What it boils down to is a combination of individual spa destination protocols, safety, consideration for others and personal choice.  If you speak to a therapist before your spa experience, they will be able to advise what’s best for you and your teen.

DISCOVER TEENAGE SPA DAYS AND BREAKS

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