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2 December 2020
Don't duck out - make it safe

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children aged five years and younger in Australia. 

Every year, at least one child drowns in a portable swimming pool and many more children are hospitalised. Some are left with severe brain injuries. 

Portable pools can be popular as a cheap alternative to below-ground pools, but they're just as dangerous.

You need to take extra care if you have a small blow-up pool, plastic paddling pool, kiddie pool, bigger wading pool, inflatable spa or high-sided flexible plastic pool on a frame. 

It only takes 20 seconds and 3cm of water for a youngster to drown, so parents and carers must keep watch at all times when children are near water. 

Don't duck out of your responsibilities, make it SAFE. 

  • Supervise. Once the pool has water in it, you'll need to actively watch children, within arm's reach at all times so you can prevent anything from going wrong. It's too much responsibility to leave older children in charge of younger kids and they may not recognise the signs of a drowning. 
  • Act. Learn what to do in the event of a child drowning incident. You'll need to know how to carry out CPR and it's important to start compressions and breaths right away when a child is pulled from the water, and to call Triple Zero (000) so help is on the way. If possible, shout for someone to call Triple Zero (000) while you do CPR. 
  • Fence. In South Australia if a pool is 30cm or greater in depth, there's a legal requirement for it to be fenced. Contact your local council for further information on this requirement.
  • Empty. Deflate the portable pool and keep it safely out of reach of children when not in use. Never use an empty pool in a place where it can refill with rain or sprinkler water. 

Read more about making portable pools safe at www.productsafety.gov.au/makeitsafe