Parental supervision is clearly the key to preventing drowning and of course every pool should be fenced, but children continue to drown. Can we do more to protect our precious children???
The problem is that even a short lapse of supervision, for example if a parent is distracted by another child, can lead to tragedy. The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission, stated after a study on childhood drownings: “Supervision Can and Does Fail”. A survey by The Australian Consumers’ Association (ACA), publisher of CHOICE magazines, found that over half of all Australian pool fences tested failed to meet a key safety aspect of the Australian standard for pool fencing!
A layered approach to drowning prevention must be brought to bear. The more “layers of protection” you put between a child and the water, the lower the risk of drowning.
Technology can help save lives! Pool alarms have now even become mandatory in some parts of the USA. While no product can ever take the place of constant adult supervision, pool alarms offer an additional layer of protection to further reduce the possibility of drowning. If a child somehow manages to get past a parent and reach the water, the alarm will sound in time to prevent a tragedy.
The Safety Turtle Pool Alarm consists of a base station, normally located in the house and a wristband, worn by the child. The wristband, designed in the shape of a colourful turtle, locks securely around the child’s wrist. The product is permanently sealed and ruggedly built to withstand child’s play. The wristband instantly detects immersion in water and sends a radio signal to the base station, which then sounds a loud distinctive alarm to alert the household. Any number of wristbands can be used with one base station. There is no hardware to install and the unit is completely portable and ready for use at all times.
Unlike other pool alarms that have to be deactivated (and must then be reactivated) whenever someone enters the pool area to swim or even just to clean the pool, Safety Turtle provides continuous protection to the wearer. By its very nature, it can protect a child even when the pool is in use by others, because the Safety Turtle protects the child and not the water. This distinction is vital, because drowning occurs very quickly and often takes place when adults are in attendance. Many drownings occur in the late afternoon, which tends to be the peak period of pool use and is when numerous distractions are present. During this period, any pool alarm that is not specifically on the child would have to be turned off while others are using the pool.
The Safety Turtle has been featured three times on Oprah Winfrey’s popular TV show, has been recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute in the USA and has been displayed as one of Canada’s brightest innovations at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa. Overseas, Safety Turtle has been featured widely, including on The View, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Michael Holigan’s Your New House, Travel Gear, Global News, CTV News and CBS, NBC and Fox.
Drowning occurs quickly. When a child stops breathing, irreversible brain damage begins to occur in about 4 minutes, so rapid action is required if a life is to be saved. The loud shrieking of a pool alarm might be the last sound a parent wants to hear, but it could be all that stands between life and death should a child somehow get past the watchful eye of a parent and make it into the water.