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Inflatable kiddie pools present danger to kids

5:58 AM, Jun 20, 2011   |    comments
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Jaelynn McKinney, 3, died in her backyard in 2010 when she drowned in her family's portable pool. She'd been left alone for less than five minutes.

A new study from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio finds that between 2001 and 2009, more than 200 children drowned in pools just like this one. The vast majority were kids under age five. Most drowned in their own backyard.

Dr. Gary Smith of Nationwide Children's Hospital says that shallow, portable pool can have the illusion of being safer.

"Parents that understand the hazards of an in-ground pool may not appreciate that the same hazards exist for a portable pool," Dr. Smith said.

Covers can slip off easily when pools begin to deflate adding to the drowning risk. The association of pool and spa professionals says parental supervision is key and adds: "supervision means actively watching your child without any other distractions."

Experts give moms and dads the same advice they'd give their own children: when you're finished playing, clean up.

"When you're done, drain the pool, just turn it upside down, let it dry, just to make sure there's no water in it," hardware expert Elisabeth Doherty said. "Kids can potentially drown in 2-inches of water, so you just need to make sure your pool is drained."

That is advice that can give parents peace of mind, as kids stay cool this summer.

(Copyright © 2011 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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