Portable pools, which include wading pools, inflatable pools and soft-sided, self-rising pools, can be a low-cost and easy-to-set-up alternative to expensive in-ground pools and waterpark visits. Yet many parents underestimate the potential dangers associated with these products. During the summer in the U.S., a child drowns every 5 days in a portable pool. By taking a few precautions, parents and caregivers can help children remain safe as they cool off during hot summer days.
Only allow children to be in the pool area when an adult is present to supervise.
Empty wading pools immediately after use.
The safest option is to place the pool inside a fenced-in area of the yard. The fencing should:
be at least four feet high
have self-closing and self-latching gates that open away from the pool
not have any spaces under the fence or between uprights that are more than four inches wide
Remember that the safest type of fencing is isolation fencing, which is 4-sided fencing that goes around the pool only.
Remove items that could be used by a child to gain entry to the pool area.
If possible, remove steps and ladders leading from the ground to the pool when the pool is not in use and keep these items locked away.
Use door locks and alarms to prevent children from going from the house into the pool area without an adult.
Children should never swim alone or only with other kids. An adult should always be present when children are in a pool.
When watching children in the pool, the adult’s full attention is needed. Avoid distractions such as reading, doing chores, talking on the phone or chatting with others.
Have children take swimming lessons and learn about water safety.
Keep toys out of the pool when not in use.
The following items should be kept by the pool:
a telephone and emergency telephone numbers
a shepherd’s hook
PubMed Abstract: Pediatric Submersion Events in Portable Above-Ground Pools in the United States, 2001-2009 - July 2011
Press Release: New Study Uncovers the Dangers of Portable Pools - June 20, 2011