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Are Inflatable Pools Safe For Babies? Here's What You Should Know

When summer heat settles in, it becomes a mom’s daily duty to find activities that can keep the kids cool and her sanity intact. Sprinklers, trips to the water park — you brave soul — and pool passes all become staples in an effort to beat the heat. But what about when you are looking to find some summer fun for a baby? Kiddie pools that you can put in your backyard are always an option, but are inflatable pools safe for babies?

“Inflatable pools, just as other in-ground pools or exposure to water, may present a hazard for babies and young children, particularly those less than 5 years of age,” says Texas-based Dr. Eboni Hollier, who is board-certified in both general and developmental and behavioral pediatrics, in a Romper email interview. “Babies can drown in as little as a few inches of water, so inflatable pools can be particularly unsafe for babies and young children.”

Hollier explains that inflatable pools pose a particular risk because parents often perceive them as a safe option, but that’s not the case. Common mistakes, she says, are placing pools in unfenced areas or even leaving a filled pool unattended.

“Certainly children less than 5 years of age require constant adult supervision, as children in this age group are most likely to have drowning-related injury or even death when using an inflatable pool,” Hollier says.

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Hollier says in addition to keeping their eyes on their child at all times, parents should keep children within an arm’s length. Parents should also consider learning CPR and keeping a cellphone nearby in order to call for emergency help if needed. An inflatable pool should be drained when not in use, and toys should be removed in order to avoid piquing a child’s interest.

And Hollier says it can’t be stressed enough: “A child should never be left unattended in an inflatable pool — not even for a second.”

As for keeping kids engaged during the summer, I hear indoor activities can be a lot of fun, too.