iSwimband – helping guard against preventable child drownings

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We often hear about the dangers of water and young children and we should never, ever rest on our laurels thinking that a child’s water confidence is enough to prevent drowning.

Children often don’t have an instinctive fear of water and are only too keen to get in and have a fun splash about. While most parents understand that supervision is a key element to water safety, often you may have more than one child in the water, or one child wants to show you a trick they’ve learned, or you need to get a pool toy from the other side of the fence. I’m the first to say an extra set of eyes at the water’s edge is a godsend with such distractions.

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With this in mind, I embrace wholeheartedly anything that might help prevent childhood drowning and this amazing iSwimband fits the bill. iSwimband is drowning detection technology at its finest. The iSwimband is worn on the wrist by toddlers or the head (much like goggles) by older children and detects when a swimmer has been submerged too long (beyond a preset time limit) or if a non-swimmer enters the water. It then sends a wireless alert to your smart device (phone or tablet) via the downloaded iSwimband app.

Such revolutionary technology was initially created for commercial swimming areas, but has now been developed as a personal, portable monitoring system. An iSwimband pack is available for caregivers and includes an iSwim headband and an iSwimband sensor. Using the iSwimband app you can manage your bands and alert settings according to the child’s water abilities.

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Forty children (aged fourteen and younger) died from drowning in Australia last year according to Royal Life Saving. Kidsafe tells us that for every drowning death of a child aged under five, there are up to ten near-drowning incidents resulting in hospital admittance. While technological devices like this should certainly never replace official recommendations that parents never take their eyes off children near the water, they can certainly help give some extra peace of mind.

The iSwimband pack is available for the pre-order price of US $150 and is expected to be available from May 2014. Delivery to Australia is available.

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