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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Keep kids safe around inflatable pools this summer

With the summer holidays nearing, Maitland City Council is reminding residents that any pool capable of being filled to a depth of 300mm or more, including above ground, portable or inflatable pools, are required to be fenced in accordance with the legislation.

One in five instances where a child drowns in a swimming pools takes place in a portable or inflatable structure.

And, no one wants to see that scenario occur over the coming months.

“Inflatable swimming pools are increasing in popularity due to their easy set-up, low cost and affordability,” council’s manager development and compliance Cindy Littlewood said.

“But, they have the same drowning hazards as a permanent pool and, in some cases, by law, need to be fenced.

“The general public is often unaware of the safety requirements as places where they would buy an inflatable or portable pool may not also sell fencing.”

According to the Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia, Kidsafe, drowning remains one of the leading causes of unintentional death in the nation.

“In the 0-to-four-year age bracket, swimming pools are the most common location for toddler drownings, making up 67% of all cases, followed by bathtubs which account for 22%,” a spokesperson said.

“Evidence suggests that a large number of fatalities in backyard pools are a result of poor barriers that are faulty or non-compliant with Australian standards, as well as the absence of active adult supervision.

“Twenty seconds, and a few centimetres of water, is all it takes for a child to drown.”

All swimming pools, including portable and transportable pools, are required by law to be registered on the state swimming pool register.

The responsibility is on the owner to record their pool online through the NSW Swimming Pool Register at www.swimmingpoolregister.nsw.gov.au

If individuals need help with their pool registration, they can contact council’s customer experience team by phoning 4934 9700, emailing [email protected] or live chatting on the website.

For further information on pool safety and legislation, visit www.maitland.nsw.gov.au/our-services/building-and-development/building-and-renovating/swimming-pools/pool-owner-responsibilities