Portable pools in spotlight

ACTING Fair Trading Commissioner John Tansey has issued a warning to consumers about the dangers of inflatable and portable pools.

"While there are stringent local government regulations mandating fencing surrounding in-ground pools in NSW, these regulations do not necessarily apply to all portable and inflatable pools," he said.

"Many injuries and sadly, even some fatalities, have taken place in the seemingly harmless paddling pool.

"Never leave a young child unattended in and around water no matter how shallow it is. Keep children within arm's reach and never rely on older children to supervise.

"Any pool, whether portable, inflatable or in-ground, that is deeper than 30 centimetres must be surrounded by a swimming pool fence in NSW."

Mr Tansey said according to a recent Royal Life Saving Society report, children under five accounted for nearly half of all swimming pool drowning deaths, with falls into water accounting for 81 per cent of those deaths.

"Children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable around portable or inflatable pools," he said.

"They are also far more likely to get into trouble if a flotation device or inflatable toy they are relying on to stay afloat fails."

Mr Tansey said the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, in partnership with state and territory consumer protection agencies, will be enforcing a new mandatory safety standard for portable pools and their retail packaging, which will require mandatory safety warnings from March.

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