DUBBO City Council is encouraging families to take appropriate precautions when children are in or near water and know the law that applies to portable and inflatable pools.
Council’s acting director community services James McKechnie said in NSW more than a quarter (28.2 per cent) of all drowning deaths among children in backyard swimming pools occurred in portable swimming pools.
“The perceived safety of shallow, portable pools heightens the danger,” he said.
“By law, inflatable or portable pools capable of being filled with more than 30 centimetres of water require a four-sided fence.”
Mr McKechnie said in the large majority of these child drowning incidences, the portable pools do not have fences as is required under the Swimming Pools Act 1992 (NSW).
“Inflatable pools are popular due to their easy set up and affordability, but they present the same drowning hazards as large pools,” he said.
“In 2010/2011, six children under the age of five drowned in NSW swimming pools and there were 30 near-drowning incidents, and anything we can do to reduce this number, including fencing permanent and portable pools, is a priority.”
Mr McKechnie also urged parents to ensure their children learnt to swim.
“Accredited learn to swim classes are available at a range of public, commercial, and private pool facilities in Dubbo,” he said.
“The Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre runs a variety of classes and can be contacted on 6801 4490.”