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Around 800 children die each year from drowning — and half of those are under age 5. Plus, kids aged 1-4 are most likely to die in pools (as compared to baths or open water). Since two-thirds of these deaths happen between May and August, parents need to practice extra caution this time of year when enjoying the outdoors while on vacation or swimming in local pools.
Olympic ski champion Bode Miller and his wife, Morgan, tragically lost a child in a horrific accident in June 2018, when their 19-month-old daughter Emeline Grier Miller (“Emmy”) drowned in a neighbor’s pool. Since then, the couple has become devoted to teaching other parents about the importance of water safety.
“Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts and Uncles, EVERYONE….Please don’t rely on the visual stimulant of water to create your awareness,” Morgan wrote on her Instagram page. “Understand that almost 70% of drownings occur when your children are not expected to be near the water. When you think they are in the playroom or on the sofa watching tv. Always be aware of water and place as many barriers between your child and those bodies of water as possible (locks, door alarms, pool fences). None of us are immune to this devastatingly life changing statistic. It can happen so fast and forever change your world.”
The Coral Manta Drowning Prevention System
One way to keep kids safer in the pool is with high-tech tools like the Coral Manta 3000. Described as “the first and only drowning computer vision-based detection service for residential swimming pools,” the Coral Manta 3000 does non-stop surveillance of the activity inside of your pool.
It works in two ways. First, it sounds a short alarm whenever a person enters the pool (thereby alerting parents or homeowners if a child may have entered the pool without supervision). Second, it monitors for activity which could suggest a potential drowning.
Bode gave the company a testimonial on YouTube, explaining that he thinks the tool has the potential to save a lot of lives:
When the Coral Manta 3000 detects that a body is motionless inside the water, it sends out an immediate alert. Not only does it activate a loud alarm outside the pool, but it also notifies any smartphones that have been enabled with the app. This gives parents the chance to react quickly and rescue anyone from the water who may be struggling to stay afloat.
Here’s a YouTube video from the company showing how it works:
Less Sophisticated Pool Alarms Are Also Available At A Lower Price
This is not the first time that a pool alarm has been created. For example, the Pool Patrol PA-30 Pool Alarm is another drowning-prevention device, except it is triggered by movement. It sets off an alarm whenever a child or pet falls or begins to struggle within the water, thereby creating a wave. The wave then activates the alarm, alerting the parents to possible danger. However, some reviewers complain that the wind or other normal day-to-day activity can set off the alarm, causing false alarms and unnecessary fear.
Other products like the LifeBuoy Pool Alarm System are also designed with multiple sensors to detect motion in the water. As with the Pool Patrol product, though, people have similar complaints about false alarms and over-sensitivity.
Despite their faults, these other alarms come at a more inexpensive price point than the Coral Manta 3000. These pool alarms will run you several hundred dollars versus the Coral Manta 3000’s superior technology, which has a retail price of $1999.00.
Personal Devices That Can Keep Swimmers Safe
Other tools that can help prevent drowning include the Ploota Sensor-Controlled Swimming Safety Device, an inflatable necklace with changeable CO2 cartridges. If a person wearing the necklace suddenly starts to go under and there is no assistance nearby, they can press a button which inflates the necklace quickly, pulling the wearer to the surface of the water and out of danger. The Ploota also activates automatically when the wearer has been underwater for 30 seconds.
You can purchase it here for $110. Watch the device in action with this video from Insider:
There is also Kingii, an inflatable wristband device that works similarly to the Ploota. The Kingii is not just great for children, but even helps expert swimmers who may struggle in an unexpectedly strong current or due to muscle cramps or another unforeseen issue in the water. Note that the wearer must be old enough and alert enough to activate the device.
You can purchase this product for $79.99 through the Kingii Store. The video below, from Awesome Stuff 365, shows how it works.
Physical Barriers Can Provide Peace Of Mind
When the pool is not in use, tools like the Aqua Net can also help to keep kids and pets out of the water without obstructing the view. The Aqua Net has a low profile that goes right over the pool and is customized to fit.
To learn more about how to prevent drowning, visit Safe Kids.