PORTABLE pools can be death traps for children, with authorities warning parents to keep careful watch of kids in water.
On average one child drowns every year in Australia in a portable pool.
Last financial year, 249 people died in pools and waterways in Australia, including 18 children under five.
Most drownings for children under five happened in swimming pools.
The alarming statistics have prompted the Office of Fair Trading to team with Surf Life Saving Queensland to raise awareness about water hazards.
Fair Trading spokesman Adrian Roudenko said most children who drowned in portable pools were boys under five.
“Small blow-up or plastic paddling or kiddie pools, bigger wading pools, inflatable spas or high-sided flexible plastic pools on a frame may seem like a fun and easy option for keeping cool this summer,” he said.
“But parents and carers of small kids need to know a smaller pool does not equal a smaller risk.”
The drowning statistics are included in a report by the Royal Life Saving Society, which aims to prevent deaths by promoting water safety.
A Royal Life Saving Society spokesperson said drownings were the lowest in 15 years but more needed to be done.
Learning CPR, keeping watch of children in water, following safety precautions and not swimming while intoxicated were all good tips.
Overall, drownings peaked in December with 40 deaths, followed by January with 38.
The report found rivers, creeks and streams, including inland areas, were the riskiest areas to swim, claiming 61 lives last financial year.
Beaches had 46 drownings, with 40 at oceans and harbours and 33 at pools.
Royal Life Saving Queensland chief executive Paul Barry said parents needed to watch children in water, even if in shallows or portable pools.
“...Keeping constant watch of kids around portable pools, can reduce the risk and potentially save lives,” he said.