Regulators' reminder of portable pool dangers

Building and Energy and Consumer Protection have joined forces to warn parents and retailers about the risks and rules when using and selling portable pools this summer.

Building and Energy oversees WA's swimming pool safety barrier standards, which are enforced by local governments, while Consumer Protection regulates product safety.

On average, one child a year drowns in a portable pool in Australia and many more non-fatal incidents result in hospitalisation and long-term injuries. The most at-risk age group is under five.

Building and Energy Executive Director Saj Abdoolakhan said any private swimming pool, portable pool or spa with water more than 30cm deep must have fencing, gates and latches that comply with specific standards and are well maintained and used correctly.

"Portable pools that contain more than a ruler's depth of water are a drowning hazard for young children, which is why they are subject to the same safety barrier requirements as built-in backyard swimming pools," Mr Abdoolakhan said.

"Some large portable pools have recently attracted consumer and media interest for their affordability compared to built-in pools, but buyers must also factor in the cost of mandatory pool fencing.

"While there is no substitute for close adult supervision of young children around water, these barriers can be life-saving if a curious toddler is unattended near an inflatable or framed pool set up for the summer."

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