A child dies every five days in portable pools during warm-weather months, according to a new study.
"Parents need to be aware that these pools can present the same risks for drowning, especially for young children, as in-ground pools," which are typically thought of as a greater safety hazard, the study's senior author Dr. Gary Smith said.
The research published Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows 209 deaths and 35 near-drownings of children under 12 from 2001 through 2009. Most of the children, 94 percent, were under 5, and 81 percent of the incidents happened during summer months.
"That's a child every five days that is drowning in a backyard portable pool during the summer months," Smith said.
The study focused on portable pools, from small wading pools less than 18 inches deep to inflatable pools and other soft-sided pools that can reach depths of 4 feet. It was conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and Independent Safety Consulting in Rockville, Md.