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Portable Pools Pose Safety Risk

Portable swimming pools, even those popular inflatable pools, pose serious risks to young children, experts say.

According to a study by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, approximately one child drowns every five days in a portable pool in the United States.

Because these pools are inexpensive and easy to assemble, many parents may not consider them as risky as in-ground pools but they pose the greatest risk for children under the age of 5.

Safe Kids USA, a nationwide network of organizations working to prevent unintentional childhood injury, promotes a pool-safety concept called "Lock, Look and Learn."

  • LOCK: Erect fencing at least 4 feet high with a self-latching gate and keep it locked at all times unless an adult is present.
  • LOOK: Parents and caregivers should watch children in or near the water at all times, and not socialize, read or sleep.
  • LEARN: Adults should learn to swim themselves and provide swimming lessons to their children from an early age. They should also know how to respond to an emergency such as calling 911 and performing CPR.

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June 2011