Parents Watch Out: Portable Pools as Dangerous as in-Ground Ones

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Defective Products on Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It is summertime in St. Louis, and that means hot and humid days. One of the most popular ways for children to beat the heat is to go swimming. Whether in the full-sized local public pool or in an inflatable backyard pool, splashing around in cool water in the summer is a cherished childhood memory for many of us.

Sadly, as much fun as they can be, above-ground swimming pools can also pose a serious danger to children. According to ABC News, a child drowns in a portable swimming pool every five days in the United States during the spring and summer months. And the size of the pool does not matter. Even a small inflatable pool with a few inches of water is as potentially dangerous as a larger above-ground model with four feet of water, a study found.

The study examined 209 cases of children who drowned in portable pools from 2001 to 2009. Its authors found that many of the drowning incidents were due to children getting through safety devices meant to keep them safe. Once inside, it can take only a couple of minutes for young children to drown.

The study’s senior author said that close parental supervision is the best way to minimize the risk to children. He said that “touch supervision,” or staying within two feet of the child, is necessary for young children in an above-ground pool. Such measures are not foolproof, though. The senior author called for swimming pool manufacturers to develop better safety devices to further reduce the risk to young swimmers.

Source: ABC News, “Summer Dangers in the Backyard and Beyond,” Kimberly Brown, June 21, 2011

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