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Kids can drown without a sound

We live in Queensland so the inflatable pool has already made a few brief – but fun – appearances in our backyard this year.

It takes me about 20 minutes of asthma-inducing exhalation to blow it up so you can imagine how I feel when I let it down again less than an hour later – watching all my much-needed air float back into the atmosphere.

But the temptation to leave it set up – in case The Toddler decides to ‘swim’ again in the afternoon – is far outweighed by the danger it poses (even empty it is a risk – what if it rains?).

These dangers have been outlined in The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network’s Inflatable and Portable Pool Safety Campaign – launched today.

We think it is important to let you all know of the key points of the campaign – ways you can make sure your kids are safe this summer!

The key points are :

  • Only use small pools if you WILL empty and store them away after EACH use.
  • Only use larger portable pools if you are willing to FENCE THEM.
  • You can be FINED if you don’t have a four-sided fence around ANY pool that can be filled with more than 30cm of water (the length of an average ruler)
  • Inflatable and portable pools are not toys and children under the age of five should be SUPERVISED by a responsible adult at all times.

There were a few other facts we thought were worth sharing:

  • Drowning is a leading cause of death for children under five years old
  • Once a young child’s face is underwater, the child cannot pick themselves up as their head is heavier than their bodies.
  • Most people think they’ll be able to hear if someone is drowning but this isn’t true. Water in the airway can block any sound from being heard. Drowning is very quick and quiet.
  • More than a quarter of all drowning deaths among children in backyard swimming pools occur in inflatable or portable pools.
  • There are many more near-drowning incidents that occur, some of which result in lifelong brain damage.


Kids Can Drown Without a Sound! provides resources for pool owners and
parents in 16 different languages. For more information visit

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