Inflatable pools sold across Australia could soon bear mandatory warnings that pool safety fencing laws may apply to them.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is seeking submissions on a proposal to introduce mandatory labelling for portable pools, with those deeper than 300mm to bear a label warning that pool fencing laws may apply.
Most people don’t realise that by law inflatable pools deeper than 300mm should be fenced, Wollongong City Council’s regulation and enforcement manager Jeannie Nicol said.
She welcomed the proposal and said it would help clear up some of the confusion surrounding pool fencing requirements. In the year to June, 21 children aged 0-4 years drowned across Australia.
‘‘When anybody sells an inflatable pool the proposal is that it will have a warning on it, that if that pool is under 300mm the warning virtually says you need to supervise your children, don’t leave them, people have drowned in pools,’’ she said.
‘‘(On) any pool over 300mm, there will be an added warning that this pool may require pool fencing - that’s the key issue, because a lot of people don’t realise that is the requirement.’’
Although it would be impossible to inspect every property with an inflatable pool, Ms Nicol said the council had been forced to approach residents in the past to remind them of the law.
‘‘Come the summer season we should all be aware of the requirements for swimming pools because there are still a high number of drownings each year in NSW,’’ she said.
Royal Life Saving Society Illawarra regional manager Ian Kennerley said the proposal would get people talking about fencing laws, which he described as a ‘‘grey area’’.
He said there was no substitute for adult supervision and he urged parents to keep watch over children using inflatable pools and tip out the water after use. Water quality was also a concern with these types of pools.