Put safety first on your Christmas list

4 December 2020

With Christmas just a few weeks away, you might be busy shopping for gifts for the kids. Water-based items, such as pool toys, floaties and paddling pools, are often high on the list as they can provide hours of fun.

If these items are on your list this year, below are some essential considerations to keep in mind. Most importantly: no toy or flotation device is a substitute for responsible adult supervision! 

Pool toys

We all love lounging on a pool inflatable, but never let your guard down when the kids are using them!

  • Don’t rely on a pool toy to keep your child safe. Always closely supervise when kids are using toys.
  • Carefully check the recommended age and weight ranges for pool toys to ensure your child isn’t too old or heavy for a particular toy. 
  • Deflate pool toys when not in use and check them for leaks before use.
  • Store pool toys securely away and out of sight and reach of children when not in use; never leave pool toys in the pool unattended. These can attract the attention of children who may try to get through or over a fence or lean out to try and reach the toy from the pool edge.


Flotation devices such as vests, rings or armbands can help your child become comfortable in the water, but they are NOT lifesaving devices! Floaties can make a child seem more competent in the water, which can lead to lapses in adult supervision from a false sense of security. It's important to remember that items like armbands can pop or slip off, and if a child rolls face-down in the water, it can be difficult for them to turn themselves over. 

  • Check that the product is suitable for your child’s age and size.
  • Consider products that fit to your child’s body such as vests. These often have removable floats so that the buoyancy can be adjusted as your child’s skills improve.
  • Give your child experience swimming without floaties. Wearing floaties every time they swim prevents them from learning how it feels to move without the extra buoyancy provided by the device.
  • Closely supervise children whenever they’re swimming, regardless of how competent and confident they may appear.

Portable pools

Portable pools can provide entertainment for the whole family, but supervision is paramount. Small children can drown in just 3cm of water, so even a small inflatable pool can be a drowning risk for young kids if they’re unsupervised.

  • Always supervise kids closely when using a portable pool
  • Empty the pool when not in use and store it securely out of reach of children, away from any potential water sources that could refill it, such as rain or sprinklers.
  • Larger pools can come with legal obligations (typically if they hold 30cm of water), so check your local fencing requirements.


Together with Consumer Protection WA, our message to parents this summer is “Don’t Duck Out. Make it SAFE”


By following these simple steps, these products can be safely enjoyed all summer long. Happy Christmas shopping! 

Learn more about making it SAFE at the link below:

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