Portable pools as dangerous as in-ground pools

Portable pools as dangerous as in-ground pools

A new study found portable kiddie pools can be just as dangerous as in-ground pools.

The study said a child drowns in an inflatable or wading pool once every five days...that's about as many children who drown in deeper, in-ground pools.

They're about the size of a bathtub and may not look threatening, but temporary pools can be just as dangerous as ones ten times their size.

"Generally with those little pools you fill them up and you forget about them and you don't think to drain them, you don't put a fence around them because they're so small and cheap," said Vicky Atkinson, a paramedic at East Texas Medical Center.

And she's right. We found an inflatable pool sitting unattended in someone's front yard right here in Tyler.

Atkinson said she has responded to calls where children have drowned in just three inches of water.

Beth Miller, mother of two, said like most parents she's always reminding her kids of pool rules.

"It's something I try to tell them almost every time we come, like don't dive in the shallow areas and give them examples of why," Miller said.

Miller said her kids are around the pool almost every day.

But when the pool is temporary, the care and caution can turn temporary too.

"I think that people think that with not very much water, 'I'll just go inside for a little while as long as I can hear them or as long as I can maybe check on them occasionally'," Miller said.

"The one thing that might be different is with a kiddie pool, you don't think about them as much as we do with a lake or a large pool so our defenses are down and our attention is not as intense with the smaller pools. It gives us a false sense of security," Atkinson said.

Atkinson said it is important to keep children in reach at all times, no matter what size the pool. Then, when play time is over, drain the pool and put it away.