Pool safety starts in the back­yard

Guardian Express - - NEWS - With Act­ing Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Com­mis­sioner David Hillyard

MANY of us have fond mem­o­ries of splash­ing around in a por­ta­ble pool as a child and, as the weather warms up, we’ve launched a cam­paign to re­mind par­ents and car­ers to make these pools safe.

Por­ta­ble pools – rang­ing from small blow-up or plas­tic pad­dling or kid­die pools to big­ger wad­ing pools, in­flat­able spas or high-sided flex­i­ble plas­tic pools on a frame – can be pop­u­lar in sum­mer as a cheap al­ter­na­tive to be­low-ground pools but they are just as dan­ger­ous.

On av­er­age one child dies from a por­ta­ble pool­re­lated drown­ing ev­ery year in Aus­tralia, while oth­ers need hos­pi­tal treat­ment and may be left with se­vere brain in­juries and lim­ited life ex­pectancy.

Drown­ing sta­tis­tics have prompted Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law and prod­uct safety reg­u­la­tors to join forces with the Royal Life Sav­ing So­ci­ety to spread wa­ter safety mes­sages.

We part­nered with Royal Life Sav­ing in 2014-15 to run a cam­paign called ‘Make It Safe’ and now we’ve added the re­minder of ‘Don’t Duck Out’ of the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties you take on when you buy a por­ta­ble pool, which may in­clude putting up a safety bar­rier.

As part of the cam­paign, we’ve been work­ing with ma­jor re­tail­ers who will also be help­ing to spread the Don’t Duck Out, Make It SAFE mes­sage at the point of sale. Un­der the Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law, por­ta­ble pools and their pack­ag­ing are re­quired to have la­bels drawing the buyer’s at­ten­tion to drown­ing risk, the need for ac­tive su­per­vi­sion, proper stor­age and lo­cal fenc­ing laws.

Any­one think­ing about buy­ing a por­ta­ble pool should check out www. prod­uct­safety.gov.au/make it­safe for more in­for­ma­tion. If you spot a por­ta­ble pool with­out a warn­ing la­bel, re­port it to Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion by email­ing con­[email protected] or call­ing 1300 304 054.

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