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New Wearable Sensor Works To Prevent Drownings

Updated: Friday, July 11 2014, 06:14 PM CDT

This Fourth of July weekend, two children drowned in Lake Georgetown. Stories like these have motivated a company to create a device that could add an extra layer of protection.

Here's how it works. You strap the sensor on your child, watch them get into the water and if they're under too long, you'll hear an alarm sound on your smartphone or tablet.

"It's just like a pair of swim goggles," said Paul Newcomb, GM of Aquatic Safety Concepts.

"Kids can drown as quickly as 20 seconds," said Alissa Magrum, Executive Director of Colin's Hope.

The alarm will also sound if a parent moves more than one hundred feet away.  "So that you can not only supervise, but that you're close enough that if something does happen, you can make a recovery in time," said Newcomb.

Gabby Jaramillo demonstrates how it works, but would she actually wear it? "Maybe like a baby blue color that would just make it much better."

The wristband is for non-swimmers. The headband, which is similar to a goggles strap, is more age-appropriate for Gabby at 10 years old.

"The kids don't have a problem with it," said Newcomb. "The funny thing is that the parents are more reticent than the children are."

Newcomb is the general manager of the company that makes the iSwimband. "Last summer in the state of Texas 80 children drowned, and the CDC statistics indicate that 80 percent of those were supervised."

Two foster children died in Lake Georgetown while under supervision.

"In the situation in Georgetown, what I do when I see those situations is I try to get as many details to see what layer of protection failed," said Magrum. "How could we have prevented that situation."

Newcomb believes this device could have saved their lives. "That did not have to happen."

The iSwimband costs $99.

By Deeda Payton

New Wearable Sensor Works To Prevent Drownings


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