Royal Life Saving urges parents to make it safe when it comes to portable swimming pools this Summer

Royal Life Saving Portable Pools Safety Message

Royal Life Saving are today urging all parents and carers to be aware of the drowning risk portable swimming pools can pose to young children, as part of KidSafe’s ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ Backyard Pool Safety campaign.

Portable pools (also known as inflatable pools or wading pools) are a popular choice for many families. They can however, pose a significant drowning risk to young children.

Royal Life Saving’s recently released National Drowning Report 2018 sadly showed 18 children aged 0-4 years lost their lives to drowning in the 2017/18 financial year, a 38% reduction on the previous year. Swimming pools, including portable pools, accounted for 67% of all drowning deaths in young children in 2017/18.

Over the past 16 years, 18 children aged 0-4 years have drowned in portable pools around the country. In all instances, adult supervision had lapsed and the vast majority of portable pools were unfenced.

Royal Life Saving CEO Justin Scarr says “many parents may not be aware of the legal requirement in most states and territories to fence a pool deeper than 30cm, which includes portable pools. If you’re planning on using or buying a portable pool over the warmer months, consider how you can Make It Safe”.

Royal Life Saving’s ‘Make It Safe’ portable pool safety campaign, developed in conjunction with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), aims to educate parents, grandparents and carers of young children on the drowning risk portable swimming pools pose, as well as communicating five simple safety tips to reduce such risk. These are:

  1. Check with your local council regarding fencing requirements.
  2. Ensure you always actively supervise children within arms’ reach whenever they are in, or around the water.
  3. Never rely on older children to supervise younger children, no matter how confident you are about their ability to supervise the younger child.
  4. For smaller pools – ensure you empty them and put them away when you are finished with them.
  5. Always store portable pools safely away from young children. Ensure the pool cannot fill with rain water or water from sprinklers.

KidSafe’s sixth annual ‘Safe Barriers Save Lives’ campaign, which was launched on Tuesday 18th September by Olympic swimmer Matt Welsh, calls on all pool and spa owners to check the safety of their barriers in the lead up to the warmer months.

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