With more portable pools in use this summer in backyards across the country, the City of Côte Saint-Luc wants the public to be aware of the dangers of drownings and take action to minimize the risk.
“Portable pools are a low-cost and easy-to-set-up alternative to in-ground pools, however many parents may underestimate the potential risks,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “By taking a few precautions, parents and caregivers can help children remain safe.”
Portable pools include wading pools, inflatable pools and soft-sided, self-rising pools. They are sometimes referred to as kiddie pools. The following actions can minimize the drowning risk associated with portable swimming pools:
- Only allow children to be in the pool area when an adult is present to supervise.
- Empty portable pools immediately after use.
- Place the pool inside a fenced-in area of the yard.
- Use door locks and alarms to prevent children from going from the house into the pool area without an adult.
Quebec pool safety laws state if the pool water is 60 cm (2 feet) or more in depth, fencing is required. The City of Côte Saint-Luc only gives permits for permanent pools, but recommends people keep portable pools covered or fenced when not in use.
In addition to drowning risks of portable swimming pools, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of the spread of recreational water illnesses, or RWIs, which can spread by swallowing or having contact with contaminated recreational water. These illnesses are caused by germs such as Cryptosporidium, E. coli O157:H7, and Shigella. The CDC recommends that you drain or empty the pool, then clean the pool and allow it to dry. Once the pool is completely dry, leave it in the sun for at least four hours. Medium and larger-sized inflatable and plastic pools that cannot be emptied daily should have filters and appropriate disinfection systems that meet the same codes and requirements as full-sized swimming pools.