The Office of Fair Trading has received reports that a number of potentially unsafe portable spas with ´potty-style´ skimmer boxes may have re-entered the marketplace.
These boxes have been associated with a number of injuries and deaths around Australia. Drowning and disembowelments have occurred when children have become trapped on unsafe spa and pool skimmer boxes, filters, outlets and covers.
Open, potty shaped skimmer boxes can be integrally moulded into transportable swimming pools and spas. These skimmer boxes:
- operate at water level as a suction point for circulating the water
- look like a child´s potty or toilet device
- have no fixed protective device to stop a person becoming lodged or caught by the suction when in use.
What you should do
If you have a swimming pool or spa, check it does not have:
- an open potty-shaped skimmer box that children or adults can sit on
- outlets or filters that are open and may trap hair or body parts
- covers that can easily come off and give access to filters or outlets that can trap hair or body parts or cause serious internal injuries.
If you have any of these products you should:
- immediately stop using the pool or spa
- replace any unsafe skimmer boxes, outlets, filters or covers with models that comply with Australian or American voluntary standards
- ask reputable pool and spa suppliers for proof that any products they provide you with are designed to minimise the likelihood of entrapment of any part of a person´s body or hair by the outlet when in use.
If you are using spas and swimming pools do a check before you enter the water and avoid using any that have:
- a bottom drain outlet
- installed or moulded skimmer boxes that have no lid or have a lid that children can easily remove.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is currently developing a new national regulation to minimise risks associated with ´potty-style´ skimmer boxes in portable pools and spas.
For more information visit the Australian product safety website www.productsafety.gov.au
Last reviewed 21/12/2011