The State Government and Royal Life Saving Society - Australia have launched a national campaign to warn consumers about the dangers of portable pools this summer.
Tragically, on average, one child dies from drowning in a portable pool every year, with others needing hospital treatment and some suffering from permanent brain damage.
The Don't Duck Out, Make It SAFE initiative includes four key safety messages for parents:
- Supervise. Actively watch children within arm's reach. Don't leave children in charge.
- Act. Learn CPR – know to start compressions and breaths as soon as possible when a child is pulled from the water and to call triple zero (000) for help.
- Fence. In WA and most parts of Australia, pools with more than 30cm of water in, are legally required to have a compliant safety barrier. Check with your local council.
- Empty. For pools that don't need to be fenced, keep watch all day, then pour out the water and store away from children, in a place where it can't refill with rain or sprinkler water.
Under the Australian Consumer Law, portable pools (plastic paddling pools, bigger wading pools, inflatable spas or high-sided flexible plastic pools on a frame) must have warning labels drawing the buyer's attention to the drowning risk.
Several major Australian retailers have agreed to display Don't Duck Out, Make It SAFE promotional materials in store and/or put stickers on portable pool products. For more information, visit http://www.productsafety.gov.au/makeitsafe
Comments attributed to Commerce and Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston:
"It's crucial that consumers comply with the legal requirements to fence portable pools that are deeper than 30cm, otherwise they risk a fine of up to $5,000.
"Suppliers of portable pools failing to comply with the mandatory standard can also face hefty penalties, up to $1.1 million.
"Since July, Consumer Protection inspectors have visited about 50 stores and checked more than 290 portable pools. I'm pleased that only one paddling pool and one inflatable spa did not comply with warning label requirements for retail packaging."
Minister's office - 6552 6700