Keeping Cool

I recently learned firsthand that three inches of water can entertain a baby for hours. There’s something in it for mom, too — while Sweet William fights the heat in his new wading pool, I soak my feet.

As the summer warmed up, I searched online for a galvanized steel stock tank, only to find them prohibitively expensive and heavy. Disappointed at the missed opportunity to see my little lamb splash in a farm tub, I changed course and investigated the safety of plastic pools.

Soft, inflatable pools often contain PVC and phthalates. We avoid those. Hard, molded pools — like the ones sold at hardware stores and in supermarket parking lots — are generally made of food grade plastic and can be recycled when the kids outgrow them.

I chose the Play and Shade Pool by Step 2 because of its compact size and attached umbrella. The pool is constructed of low density polyethylene (recycling symbol #4). The umbrella is made in China, but the rest is made and assembled in Ohio.

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