Pool safety starts in the backyard
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 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. 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.