The first U.S. study on child drownings in portable pools finds that a child dies every five days in such a pool during warm-weather months, demonstrating a considerable risk and the need for consumer education and affordable protection devices, the study's senior author says.
The research being published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows 209 deaths and 35 near-drownings of children under 12 from 2001 through 2009. Most of the children, 94 percent, were under 5, and 81 percent of the incidents happened during summer months, reports Boston Globe.
"Over the last decade, we've seen an increase in the number of people who use portable pools, and in many cases, it's our impression that parents may not be aware of their risks," said Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Injury Research and Policy Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and lead author of the study, informs ABC News.
Experts said supervising children is key when they're around water. They also suggest draining the pool after you're done with it, and don't rely on pool covers for inflatable pools because they leak air overtime and the cover will no longer work properly, says WLWT Cincinnati.