Dear SafeMama: Summer Series – Baby Pools

By Kristie Turck •  Published 06/05/09 •  2 min read

Last updated on May 10th, 2022 at 01:41 pm

dear safemama

Are There Any Baby Pools Made Without Phthalates, PVC or BPA?

Q: Do you know of any baby wading pools that are safe from phthalates, PVC and BPA? I really want to get one for play at home with my 9-month-old but am concerned they will leach chemicals. Thanks.

I get this question a lot and really wish I had a better answer.  Hopefully in the next few years, there will be better options available.

For now, we’re pretty limited when it comes to water toys and the use of vinyl or PVC.

Most mainstream blow-up style pools are made with vinyl because of their water-resistant nature and their ability (through the use of phthalates) to be flexible.  Same with beach balls, slip n slides, and all those fun outdoor water toys.

I’ll admit all those vinyl pools look like a LOT more fun, but if you’re worried about using PVC then unfortunately there aren’t a ton of options in this area but I have but one answer for right now:

Molded Pools May Be a Good Option

From what I’ve gathered, the majority of molded kid pools are made of HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene or #4 on the recycling scale).  These are available many times out front at the grocery store.  You’ve seen them propped up by the door sometimes in 2 sizes with weird fish all over them.

Many of the molded pools I’ve found have a recycling mark on them somewhere but I have seen some that were not marked with recycling codes.  However, my best guess is that most molded pools are not made of PVC.  (But don’t quote me on that – there is always the exception).  If anyone has ideas I’m happy to add reader feedback!

Update: Check out our SafeMama Safer Baby Pools Cheat Sheet