Today begins the first official day of summer. And for many adults and children, it also means it’s time to hit the pool. But according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics, parents should be aware of the potential danger with portable swimming pools.
Portable pools include wading pools, inflatable pools, and soft-sided pools. According to an article on CNN.com, the study looked at deaths and injuries that occurred in portable swimming pools among children younger than age 12 in the United States. Between 2001 and 2009, 244 incidents were reported among that age group. The study found that 86%, or 209 cases, were fatal. And 94 percent of the incidents involved children younger than age 5. The article noted that incidents can occur in less than 2 feet of water.
When looking at portable pool submersion incidents, the study found that the cases increased 500% from 2001 to 2005, but that the injury rate held steady from 2005 to 2009.
It’s always important to make sure children are supervised when they are playing in pools. The authors of the study suggest that the portable pool industry consider developing reasonable priced fencing to limit access to pools. They also recommend covers for pools and the development of alarm systems that sound when a child enters the pool. Parents and caregivers can also benefit from water safety instruction and CPR in the event of an accident.
So enjoy your summer and be safe in the water!