A new study shows that portable pools pose a greater threat to small children than parents may think. According to a study published in Pediatrics, about two dozen children drown in portable pools annually. Practically all of these children were under the age of five.
The author of the study, Gary Smith, director of the Center for injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio said that portable pools are not required to meet standard safety requirements, unlike permanent pools. For example, Florida law requires that residential pools maintain a secure barrier around the perimeter of the pool. Few people are willing to build a fence around a portable pool because a fence could cost more than the pool itself, said Meri-K Appy, president of Safe Kids USA advocacy group. “These pools are too small for people to invest in an isolation fence but too large to drain every time,” said Appy.
Here are a few startling statistics regarding the dangers of inflatable pools
• 11% of all pool drowning deaths in children under five years take place in portable pools
• Children can drown in as little as two inches of water
• 43% of children were supervised when they drowned, 39% were not supervised and 18% of children died during a lapse in supervision
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death for unintentional injuries in children one to four years of age. Appy said that caregivers need to give children their full attention when supervising them in the water- not only in pools but lakes and bathtubs too. It can take only minutes for children to become submerged under water and for their breathing and heart to stop. For more information on this topic, see Portable pools pose drowning risk for tots.