Por­ta­ble pool dan­gers raised

The Advocate (Perth) - - NEWS -

THE Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety WA (RLSSWA) has urged par­ents and car­ers to be aware of the risks por­ta­ble pools pose to young chil­dren.

The re­cent WA Om­buds­man’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion found a quar­ter of WA tod­dlers who drowned in pri­vate pools be­tween 2009 and 2015 did so in a por­ta­ble pool or spa.

The best way to pre­vent tod­dlers from drown­ing is adult su­per­vi­sion around wa­ter at all times.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to RLSSWA se­nior man­ager of health pro­mo­tion and re­search Lau­ren Nimmo, steps should also be taken to re­strict chil­dren’s ac­cess to por­ta­ble pools.

“Por­ta­ble pool own­ers may think that pool fenc­ing rules don’t ap­ply to them, but the fact is that if a por­ta­ble pool can hold wa­ter 300mm or more deep it is sub­ject to ex­actly the same pool fenc­ing leg­is­la­tion as a be­low-ground pool,” she said.

In WA, the leg­is­la­tion iden­ti­fies a pool must be sur­rounded by a com­pli­ant bar­rier at least 1200mm (1.2m) high on all sides with a self-clos­ing and self­latch­ing gate.

“Por­ta­ble pool pack­ag­ing must dis­play warn­ing la­bels stat­ing that pool fenc­ing leg­is­la­tion ap­plies to the prod­uct, but peo­ple also need to do their re­search on the spe­cific bar­rier re­quire­ments be­fore buy­ing one of these pools,” Ms Nimmo said.

“The ul­ti­mate cost of a $60 in­flat­able pool may be a size­able fine from your lo­cal coun­cil or far more wor­ry­ingly, the se­ri­ous in­jury or even death of a child.”

The RLSSWA also rec­om­mended small pad­dling pools less than 300mm deep be emp­tied out af­ter ev­ery use and stored on their side to pre­vent the pool fill­ing with wa­ter from rain or sprin­klers.

It also urged chil­dren should not be left in the care of older sib­lings around any pools. A por­ta­ble pool or spa poses as great a risk of drown­ing as any other pool.

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