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SafeMama Baby Pool Cheat Sheet

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/22/10 •  4 min read

Last updated on August 20th, 2022 at 09:53 am

Last year we had gotten the question about baby and wading pools for small kids.  What better way to spend a summer afternoon than sitting in your backyard with some friends and letting the kids splash around?  It’s a nice cheap afternoon.  The kids are having fun, you’re working on your tan (in moderation of course), and you can have a somewhat peaceful conversation with other adults.  One of my friends has what we refer to as “block party,” during the summer.  She puts every outdoor toy in her driveway, along with her pool, and we all just hang out under umbrellas while the kids have fun.   The only drawback is, her pool is vinyl, which makes me a little paranoid sometimes.   I tend to be phobic of chemicals, so this year, I was determined to search for better alternatives.  I wasn’t going to stop until I found a suitable alternative.  And thankfully, I came up with a few ideas.

PVC Free Baby Pools

EverEarth Baby Pool Blanket

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This is more like a semi-splash pad blanket but it’s made of TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane), which according to EverEarth, is biodegradable and phthalate-free.  They also have a full line of pool toys, inflatables, swimmies, and rafts. Woo!  Check out their website for the selection.  I don’t think these are available just yet but as soon as they are I’ll update and let you know where to find them.  I have to thank Inhabitots for the find – thanks!

Molded Plastic Pools

This is your typical and least expensive option if you’re looking to go with something PVC and phthalate-free.   You can typically find these anywhere, including grocery stores, toy stores, and department stores like Target and Wal-Mart.   They range from $8 to $20 depending on the size.  They’re generally made of LDPE (low-density polyethylene, which is #4 on the recycling scale).  Sometimes they have a recycling code on them, and sometimes they don’t.   But they are a good option if you’re looking for something inexpensive and fun.  The only drawback to these is that they tend to be a pain to empty, but that’s a pretty low con to deal with for the price.


Little Tikes Butterfly Beach Sand and Wading Pool: This is a really cute, fun option for smaller toddlers.  The pool is somewhat small, so use would be limited, but if you really wanted to, you could fill both sides with water for more pool room.  Sometimes though, all kids need is just a little bit of water to have a lot of fun.  I also like that you can fold it up when it’s not in use and that there’s an umbrella to give the kids some shade on a hot day.  Little Tikes products are made of polypropylene (#5 plastic), which is recyclable in nearly all areas and Little Tikes products hold their value really well, so when you’re done with it, you could sell it to recoup your cost or donate it.

Phthalate free vinyl pool Perhaps this isn’t the most eco-friendly option, but there are PVC pools that are phthalate free.   They’re made without using all of the phthalates to soften the pvc.  I’ve researched and found some options, particularly one company by the name of Intex, that makes them, but they seem to be hard to find.  Maybe as the demand becomes higher, they will be more readily available.   There is however, the issue of how it could be recycled, and if it could be recycled easily, given that most PVC is made with phthalates.  I haven’t done much research on it yet, since summer is still around the corner.   But it’s on my list of things to look into.


Another option that isn’t technically a “wading pool” but could also be used as a pool, would be a stock tank.  I’ve seen these as options around the internet, and while they could get pricey, they are a little bigger than your typical plastic molded pool.  I researched this option, but we’re a little low on garage space, so I went with the foldable pool instead to save space.  They’re extremely sturdy and are higher on the sides than an actual wading pool, which might be nice if you wanted to say, fill it up on a hot summer day and kick the kids out, while the mom’s enjoyed some nice cold beverages.   I’m just sayin’…

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