The pool you might not fence

They’ve got a point.

Phoenix Children’s Hospital notes that when money is tight families tend to fall back on the simple and less costly ways of cooling off and having fun. Rented movies, backyard bar-b-ques, and lately, an inexpensive but potentially deadly purchase- the inflatable pool.

They’re cheap, available, and portable. They come in bright colors, with slides and tunnels- very enticing on a hot Phoenix day. But here’s the question:

Which unfenced pool is more dangerous to young children?
This one…

Or, this one?

Sure, you might not put a fence around an inflatable pool. But the problem is, you might not drain it every time you use it, either. And many filled, inflatable pools can easily be accessed by a young child whether it’s time to swim…or not.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 17 drowning deaths involving inflatable pools were reported in 2005, up from nine in 2004 and 10 in 2003.

Small inflatable pools often fall outside of local building codes that require barriers, says the CPSC. Consumers often buy them without considering the barriers necessary to help protect young children from the danger.

Inflatable pools often have slanted sides, are flexible and low to the ground, making it easy for children to climb inside.

If you fill an inflatable pool with hundreds of gallons of water, and you don’t empty it when not in use, it needs a fence. Read more about water safety and programs at

Have fun, stay cool, and ALWAYS watch kids around water!