It’s only a week into summer and the temperatures have already skyrocket into triple digits in many areas of the country. For many a small portable pool is just the ticket to letting the kiddos have a little fun in the sun while still escaping some of the blazing summer heat. But not so fast, a new study has determined that each summer a child dies every five days from drowning in a portable pool. See the CBS News story here.
According to the study between 2001 and 2009 there were 244 serious incidents involving portable pools with 209 resulting in death. The study is the first to look at drowning injuries associated with portable pools and the findings are quite shocking. Nearly all (94%) of the children injured in portable pool incidents were under the age of 5 and 3 out of 4 injuries occurred in the child’s backyard.
In many of the incidents the parents were actually supervising the children and had let their guard down for a few minutes when the accident occurred.
The lead author of the study and pediatric emergency physician, Dr. Gary Smith, hopes that the study will make parents more aware of the dangers these small pool pose. He urges that for the parents of toddlers and infants simply sitting beside the pool is not enough, they should be in the water at arm’s length so if something happens they will be able to rescue the child immediately.
Smith is also hopeful that the study will spur interest in protective devices that can be installed to make the pools safer and manufacturers will step up to make effective devices at more affordable prices.