Kiddie Pools: Keeping them Clean and Safe

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Backyard fun in the summer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. A single visit to the local swim park can cost a family $100 or more. If you have young children in the family, they would probably have just as much fun wading in a kiddie pool.

These small pools have hard walls, can be filled with regular hose water, and usually cost fewer than twenty dollars.

And, having a swimming pool at home, even if it’s a small plastic kiddie pool, can greatly benefit your small children. Everyone loves to play in the kiddie pool during the hot summer days — even the dog!

And kiddie pools are more than just fun. With kiddie pools, kids can learn basic water safety skills so they stay safe while in the water. And your dog can have access to a play center that can help cool them off on the hottest days.

Plastic kiddie pools are different than inflatable pools. They’re made of a hard plastic material and are usually smaller in size than an inflatable pool.

Even toddlers and babies who are too young to safely swim in a full-sized swimming pool can still enjoy a few inches of water in a hard plastic kiddie pool.
young boy kid getting splashed swimming pool
Kiddie Pools Need Daily Cleaning• Features two molded-in seats in the shade
• Relax in the shade of the included 40 in. (1.02 m.) umbrella that nests on the side of the pool!
• Includes 3 funnel cups
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Kiddie Pool Games
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Setting Up a Kiddie Pool• MAKE LEARNING A BLAST
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Hard Plastic Kiddie Pool Tips• Two-In-One Wide
• Inflatable Family Outdoor Pool
• Dual Pool and Slide Combo
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How to Keep Your Plastic Kiddie Pool Clean and Safe All Summer


These small pools are lightweight, portable and have a depth of less than one foot. Some models have a built-in water slide for added fun.

Read on below to learn about proper care and safety measures needed for safe enjoyment.

1. Kiddie Pools Need Daily Cleaning

Hard plastic pools hold a very small volume of water in comparison to a full-sized pool.

Also unlike a larger pool, it’s not necessary to add sanitizing chemicals to the water.

Are you looking for more than a kiddie pool? Check out our article on how to build an above ground pool deck!

As a result, the water inside of a hard plastic kiddie pool should be poured out after each use.

If not done, bacteria from the children’s bodies can build up in the water. Water that is left to sit outdoors can also be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Small Hard Plastic Pool

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Don’t let your kids swim in mosquito egg-water — wash your hard plastic kiddie pool after every use!

It may sound tedious to wash the pool after each use, but it’s quick and easy to do. Honestly, it doesn’t take that long to refill a small pool.

Inflatable kiddie pools are also small enough to be emptied and cleaned after each use.

Small Inflatable Plastic Pool

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Dump or drain the water, then wipe down the empty pool with a solution of bleach and water (read the label for cleaning ratios). Make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves while cleaning.

You can also use gentle dish detergent to cut through the dirt.

It’s best to use one part bleach to five parts water when cleaning the swimming pool. You can also use white vinegar and water as an alternative to bleach.

After washing the pool, leave it to dry out in the sun for the next several hours, so it is good to go for another fun day of swimming.

If you do have a slide, clean the slide every day to keep bacteria away and keep everything clean.

baby splash pool

2. Small Pool Safety

A common misconception is that smaller pools are safer for children. It’s been proven that children can drown in a water depth of only 1 inch, far shallower than a hard plastic pool filled to the brim.


Adults need to be responsible and consistently supervise their kids while playing in the pool.

There have been many instances where a parent has left their kids for only a few minutes to find their child at the bottom of a pool.

3. Kiddie Pool Games

A small plastic above ground pool can be a water world of playground fun with the right toys.

Small balls, squirt guns, and floating/sinking toys can be a fun addition to your pool. And some kids simply love splashing the water with their hands.

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Be prepared to refill the pool as your children splash the water onto the ground. 

Kiddie pools can also be used year-round. You can use the kiddie pool as a ball pit for toddlers and babies. It’s the perfect environment for them to play safely.

squirt guns in plastic kiddie pool

Otherwise, kids can also play a toss game like ring toss, and the swimming pool is also the perfect size for your dog to go out and enjoy on a hot day.

3. Setting Up a Kiddie Pool

Small plastic pools are very easy to set up because they require no inflation. Also, their hard plastic design eliminates any pain caused by rocks that the pool may be sitting on.

Keep in mind that rocks can pierce through the bottom of inflatable pools, so avoid them at all costs. The spot should be visible from the home located nearby.

It’s usually a good idea to choose a spot that is level and smooth such as a lawn or on bare dirt.

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Make sure it’s within range of the garden hose. If the area is muddy, consider laying out a tarp for the children to walk on, so to avoid muddy feet tracking dirt into the home.

Dry-off towels can be kept on a small stool nearby.

Hard Plastic Kiddie Pool Tips


  • Even though these pools hold a relatively small amount of water, children should still be supervised at all times.
Large Inflatable Family Outdoor Pool

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  • The size of a hard plastic kiddie pool must always be considered. While multiple pools can be purchased, some kids like to have all of their friends and family in the same pool. This can easily be done by supplying a large plastic pool. Kiddie pools these days are not only limited to the standard circular design. In fact, many of them come in interesting shapes like squares, rectangles, or ovals.
  • Colored plastic combined with cool-looking imprints makes these pools appealing to children.
baby lounging pool

Toys for Plastic Kiddie Pools

While not big enough to float in, there are many types of toys that can be used in conjunction with a hard plastic pool.

Bedroom toys without any metal hardware are more than welcome in the clear waters.

Floating toys like rubber ducks and inflatable characters can bob around on the surface.

floaties child pool

Throw in a couple of handheld water pistols, and the fun really gets started. Goggles may be needed if the children enjoy dipping below the water’s surface.

Be prepared to refill the hard plastic pool as the kids play. Splashing and kicking can quickly empty the play pool, especially if more than one child is occupying it.

Once the children get older, consider upgrading to a small inflatable or hard-sided pool.

Made of nylon, these pools come in larger sizes and can be used by the whole family. They are still small enough to be safe for children to enjoy.

Soft pools can be stored into a smaller place, and can even come with storage bags.

An electric pump can take the work out of inflation. Hard-sided pools require no inflation at all.

Get ready to enjoy years of water-based fun in the yard!

Swimming Pool Directory
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Salt Water PoolsInflatable Pools
Poolside Furniture IdeasAbove Ground Pools

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2 thoughts on “Kiddie Pools: Keeping them Clean and Safe”

  1. Hello-

    I came across your site as I was searching for heavy duty kiddie pools.  I notice the one you have pictured, thats blue with a littlle built in slide on the side.  My mother in law use to have one of these when her babies were younger and has been searching for this for a long time.  Might I ask where you think you purchased this from? It would be such a big help thank you for your time!


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