A spate of complaints to Orange City Council about inflatable and portable paddling pools around Orange has prompted a warning about child safety.
In the last two weeks Orange City Council inspectors have followed up complaints from neighbours and visited six local homes to investigate :
- inflatable pools filled with water, left unattended in the front yard of houses
- inflatable pools filled with water, left unattended in the backyard of homes with the gate open
- inflatable pools filled with water, left unattended in yards with fences that can be easily climbed by children
The council staff either talked to residents about letting the water out of the pool, or if no-one was at home, drained the pool and left a note for the home-owner.
Orange City Council’s Sports & Recreation Committee chair, Cr Jason Hamling has called on parents never to leave an inflatable pool unattended while there’s water in it.
“These cheap, blow-up pools are a fantastic way of dealing with the heat-wave temperatures that we’ve had this week, but parents must be sensible to avoid a tragedy,” Cr Hamling said.
“Under state government legislation small inflatable of portable pools must be fenced if they are able to be filled with more than 300 mm of water.”
“You can buy these pools for twenty or thirty dollars, but while there’s a warning note stuck to the box about pool safety, most people aren’t going the next step and thinking seriously about a fence for an inflatable pool.”
“The practical advice is to never leave a filled pool unattended, and always drain the pool once you’ve finished using it,”
“There’s a real potential for a neighbourhood tragedy if adults walk away and leave a pool filled with water. I was staggered when I heard about pools left in front yards where any youngster from the neighbourhood could see it.”
“There’s a growing Australia Day tradition of teenagers setting up, a paddling pool to keep cool while they listen to the Triple J Top 100 though the afternoon. It’s great to have fun together, but I’m hoping these backyard parties will end with the draining of the pool.”