Portable swimming pools

Young children are at risk of drowning when portable pools aren't emptied between use or appropriately fenced. Be aware of how to avoid drowning hazards when purchasing and using a portable pool.

About portable pools

Portable swimming pools include inflatable pools, pools with a canvas or flexible plastic liner attached to a frame, and hard plastic pools such as wading pools. Depths vary from less than 150 mm to over one metre. They may also be advertised as wading pools, paddling pools, inflatable pools and kiddie pools.

Risks and injuries

Inflatable and portable pools present a danger as they are not usually fenced and may not emptied after use. Pool fencing laws apply to pools, including portable pools that are 300 mm deep or more.

Drowning or permanent brain injury can occur even in a small portable pool that contains very little water.

Buying tips

  • Portable pools and their packaging should be labelled with mandatory warnings drawing attention to drowning hazards and local fencing laws.

Safe use

  • Always empty smaller pools when not in use.
  • Always store portable pools safely away from young children when not in use to prevent small amounts of water being collected in the pool due to rain or nearby sprinklers.
  • Ensure larger inflatable or portable pools are surrounded by a swimming pool fence. Consult your local government authority for fencing requirements.