Portable pools pose drowning hazard to young children: study

June 21, 2011

Columbus, OH – Every five days during the summer months a child drowns in a portable pool in the United States, according to research (.pdf file) released June 20 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Ninety-four percent of deaths and injuries in soft-sided or inflatable wading pools occurred among children younger than 5, researchers found. Nearly three-quarters of the incidents occurred in the child’s own yard.

It only takes a couple of minutes and a few inches of water for a child to drown,” said senior study author Gary Smith, M.D. “It is important for parents to realize that portable pools can be just as dangerous as in-ground pools.”

Researchers encouraged parents to take steps to prevent their child from accessing portable pools, and called on manufacturers to develop safe and affordable drowning prevention tools made specifically for use with portable pools.

The study was published online and will appear in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics.