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Portable pool dangers

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Portable pools are popular, but they can be as dangerous as they are fun. Dr. Michael Macknin, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's, says portable pools present all kinds of dangers for kids - especially the little ones.

"What people sometimes don't realize is that from ages one through four, the leading cause of unintentional-injury death is drowning," he warned.

Macknin says wading pools, inflatable pools, and soft-sided pools all fall under the portable pool umbrella. A 2001 study found nine out of 10 portable pool drownings, or near-drowning cases, involve children younger than 5 years old.

To decrease the risk, layers of protection are recommended, including: fencing, safety covers, and pool alarms. Wading pools should be emptied immediately after use. Parents should also get into the habit of removing toys, and taking the ladder out of the pool when it is not in use. Macknin says adult supervision is also critical.

"You really have to pay attention to your children every minute because that's about all it takes for a child to drown," he said.

Macknin says your child should always be within arm's reach every time they get into the water to swim.