Portable pools, due to their smaller size, are often mistaken as a low danger risk. This is not the case - a child can drown in just a few centimetres of water in less than 2 minutes, making the portable pool just as unsafe as any pool.
Drowning remains the largest cause of injury death of Australian children aged between 0-4 years. During 2015, 35 children aged 0 – 14 years drowned in Australia (National Drowning Report 2015). More than half of toddler drownings occur in swimming pools (National Drowning Report 2015). In Australia, 90% of portable pool drownings have been children under 3 years old.
Many portable pools on the market now are larger than your traditional wading pools, have a filtration system and are purchased with the intention of being set up for the duration of summer. They are generally defined as:
• Water height / depth 300mm (30cm) or greater
• Can be filled with a capacity greater than 2000L
• Have a filtration system
Does your portable pool have a filtration system? If yes, then you are required to contact your local council about obtaining approval for the pool and ensuring safety features are in place. So although portable and above ground pools can be cheap to purchase, they can be expensive to fence and maintain.
It is important that smaller portable pools such as clam shells and slip and slides be emptied after each use and stored in a safe place where they can’t be filled with rain water or water from sprinklers.
Above all other safety measures, active supervision is vital in ensuring your child remains safe around water - young children should be within arm’s length at all times. Older children should never be left to supervise younger children as they are not equipped with the skills to act in the event of an emergency. CPR training and knowledge goes hand-in-hand with active supervision, make sure you have the skills to provide first aid if the unthinkable occurs.
Remember to #MakeItSafe
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