QLD: Portable pool safety warning
With Queensland in the midst of a hot summer, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is warning consumers about the dangers portable and inflatable pools pose to young children.
Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said portable and inflatable pools are great for cooling off but can be a safety risk to young children, especially those under the age of five.
"Parents need to keep in mind that portable and inflatable pools carry exactly the same safety risks as deeper in-ground pools," Mr Bauer said.
"Children can drown or suffer permanent brain damage, even in small amounts of water.
"Portable pools can range in size from shallow inflatable pools to pools as long as 10 metres.
"It is very important to actively supervise young children from within arm´s reach because it can take only seconds for a child to drown."
In 2012/13, swimming pools accounted for 61 per cent of drowning deaths in children aged 0-4 years.
"As of 30 March 2014, a new mandatory safety standard will be introduced for portable pools, requiring warning labels on the packaging and pool itself to alert consumers of the drowning hazard," Mr Bauer said.
"The standard also aims to increase awareness of State and Territory fencing laws that apply to pools with depths of 300 millimetres or more."
Fair trading inspectors will be checking that portable and inflatable pools for sale carry the warning labels from 30 March 2014.
OFT recommends following these steps for safe use of portable and inflatable pools:
- Empty smaller pools when not in use.
- Store portable pools safely away from young children when they are not being used.
- Ensure larger inflatable or portable pools are surrounded by an Australian Standards compliant swimming pool fence. Talk to your local council for fencing requirements.
- Actively supervise children from within arm´s reach when they are in and around the water.
- Never rely on older children to supervise younger children, no matter how confident you are about their abilities to watch the younger child.
More information on portable pool safety and the upcoming mandatory standard is available from www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au.
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