In New Zealand we’re a nation of water babies – you’re never too far from a beautiful beach for swimming, boating, waterskiing and diving, and the warmer climate means many families also have pools in their back gardens. Water safety is something that’s drummed into us from a young age, but the fact remains – were there’s water, there’s risk, especially for young children.
When we were in Bali recently our villa had its own swimming pool (I know, amazing, right?), and I knew we’d be visiting some of the stunning local beaches. We’d enrolled them in swimming lessons a couple of months before we left, so they had the basic skills to stay afloat and get themselves back to the side of the pool if they did accidentally fall in, but because it was an open pool that lead directly on to our al fresco living area, I was still a bit concerned. We would never let them in the pool without one (usually both) of us watching them, but what if they accidentally fell in, or decided to take a dip without telling us?
By coincidence, I was contacted by the creators of the iSWIMBAND, a drowning detector that can be clipped to your child’s goggles, or worn as a head band. This is NOT a replacement for adult supervision – and is very clearly marked as such – rather it provides an additional layer of safety for children. This bluetooth activated device is paired to your iOS device and if your child is under water too long, an alarm sounds. You can also set one of the bands up for non-swimmer, which instantly alerts you if the wearer becomes submerged.
I found it really simple to set up the iSwimband and pair with my iPhone, then chose to clip it to the girls’ goggles. They splashed about the pool all afternoon, and the devices stayed secure. When they jumped into the shower I tested it out by holding it under water – after the set time had elapsed (you can choose how long, from 10- 60 seconds) a klaxon style alarm began to peal from my phone.
As mentioned, this is be used alongside – never instead of – adult supervision. I can see this being particularly useful for older children swimming in crowded beaches, rivers or public pools, when it’s harder to keep a constant eye on them. The iSwimband just adds that extra layer of safety for children, and added peace of mind for parents.
• iswimband provided for the purpose of review