Police warns UAE parents: Portable swimming pools are dangerous for kids.


Don’t let your children swim in the portable swimming pools without supervision as they are dangerous, the Ajman and Sharjah Police and civil defence authorities have cautioned parents.

The alert comes as more and more parents are buying inflatable pools for their kids who are confined to their homes due to anti-Covid measures. However, most of them are blissfully ignorant about the inherent hazards that these pools pose.

Be aware of dangers

The Ajman Police have posted warnings on social media platforms making parents aware about the dangers prevalent in these swimming pools set up in several homes.

An official of Ajman Police said that the warnings have been issued as it has been noticed that a large number of parents have bought these pools without knowing the risks involved in them. The police are making huge efforts to spread awareness among the community members to prevent any accidents caused by such pools.

The only way to ensure there are no choking or drowning cases is to intensify awareness among parents and community members. These pools can be used with caution and attention, he underlined.

Supervision is the key

Sami Al Naqbi, director-general of Sharjah Civil Defence, said that his department, teaming up with the Sharjah Police and Children Safety Authority, have been taking up steps and launching plans to prevent situations that pose risks to children and threaten their lives.

“Using these portable pools could be very dangerous if parents don’t attend to their kids while they are swimming,” he said. “Many parents underestimate the dangers and think their children will not drown. Sometimes swallowing a small amount of pool water is harmless, but it’s important for parents to realise that swallowing too much of it can lead to illness.”

Kids can get choked if they swallow too much water in the swimming pools and it could lead to breathing problems that can even be fatal. “Supervision is the key to swimming pool safety for children whether at homes or any other places. Supervision means being in constant visual contact and within reach of children, especially the little ones,” Al Naqbi pointed out.

He stressed that measures will be strengthened and awareness campaigns rolled out to ensure safety of kids. People will be made aware about the perils of leaving children unattended in swimming pools at homes or in tourist resorts. “Lack of awareness and negligence of parents are the main reasons behind accidents that claim children’s lives.” Al Naqbi rued.

Don’t depend on maids

A top official at rescue unit of Sharjah Police said that the onset of summer vocation means fun for children, but the Covid-19 situation restricts their outdoor activities. Therefore, many parents have opted to buy inflatable pools, but with it also come dangers.

He said that according to experience and reports received at the rescue unit department, it has been found that the inflatable pools, even with their limited amount of water, are responsible for many of the water-related injuries that happened in the previous years during this season.

“These pools come with bright, vibrant colours to attract young children, but their walls and supports are flimsy. With even a small amount of pressure, they usually bend and cause injuries to children.”

“In one of the cases reported, a kid splashed a huge amount of water on his brother’s face while swimming in the portable pool without being attended by their parents. The child swallowed the water that caused him to choke and gasping for breath,” the official said. “In some cases, even a small amount can be deadly,” he added.

The official said that drowning cases caused in portable and ground pools have been reported in the past years. Most of these involved children below five and toddlers. “This year, no case has been reported, but we have to be wary.”

He urged parents not to depend on maids to supervise their children, as they are often seen engrossed in their mobile phones and neglecting the children while they play. “A distraction of only a few seconds can have a deadly fallout.”

Drowning cases in Sharjah last year

>July 31: 11-year-old boy drowns on day 1 of his swimming lesson in Sharjah

>November 14: 4-year-old Emirati boy drowns in the pool of a school in Sharjah

>June 25: 8-year-old Pakistani boy drowns in the pool of a residential tower in Sharjah.

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