Blow-up backyard swimming pools are posing a serious risk to small children, who can drown in water less than 30-centimetres deep, lifesavers say.
The Royal Life Saving Society’s Dr Shayne Baker said there were no laws requiring fencing around inflatable pools, despite them being just as dangerous as regular pools. He fears their dangers are underestimated, reports ABC news.
“Essentially if it holds less than 300 millimetres of water and doesn’t have filtration and the total volume of water is less than 2,000 litres, than technically they don’t need fencing or any other form of approval,” Dr Baker said.
“But obviously they pose a huge risk.”
The warning comes after a two-year-old died in hospital on Wednesday after he was pulled unconscious from a blow-up pool at Morayfield, north of Brisbane.
Sadly the toddler who was pulled from a knee deep fish pond in western Sydney has also died.
Since Christmas Day, four children under five have drowned in NSW, three in backyard pools and one in a backyard fish pond, including 23-months old twins who were pulled out of the water on December 20 but died later.
Dr Baker said with the heatwave underway, families needed to ensure their children were supervised if they were in an inflatable pool.
He said a toddler could drown in less than a minute.
“Older children tend to play in the water and get distracted so they forget to keep an eye on the younger children.
“Adults who sit there on a mobile phone is also dangerous.
“By the time they finish sending a text message or checking their social media account, a small child will have drowned.”
Distraction can be very dangerous as Dr Adrian Mattke from Children’s Health Queensland & Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital explains in the video below.
Children can drown in just a few seconds.
It is best to carefully watch your children at all times around water with no distractions diverting your attention.
Related story: Young boy drowns while his mother plays on her phone
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