It can happen in a second -- your child is standing next to you one minute and then they wander off into deep danger.
That’s what happened to Olympic skiier Bode Miller’s daughter, Emiline. The 19-month-old wandered away from adults and was found unresponsive in the pool. Emeline died from drowning even though she was only in the water a short amount of time.
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention; from 2005-2014, there were an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings annually. That’s about 10 deaths per day.
This summer, Local 4 wants to help you focus on safety around the pool.
All the products we tested were found at local Metro-Detroit pool stores.
We tested out the Safety Turtle, which we found at a local pool store. It’s a wristband that has a sensor inside it that sets off an alarm when it detects its wearer enters water.
We found the Safety Turtle took a few minutes to sound the alarm. After some research, we discovered the version we purchased was an older version and the connectivity problems were a common issue. That’s why the company created a newer version with better connectivity. Unfortunately, Safety Turtle 2.0 is not sold in stores and is only available online.
The reviews online for Safety Turtle 2.0 are positive and it seems to work for many. We did reach out the company, which said they’ve had a rise in sales over the last month. If you’re looking to order one, they might be backlogged until early July, so patience might be required.
Tip: If you can’t wait, there’s a wristband similar to this called “My Buddy” and it can be found at local Bed, Bath, and Beyonds or online.
The Yard Gard Alarm
It’s an alarm that you install on your gate to your pool. If the gate is opened, the alarm sounds. There’s different settings that you can use if you’re having a party or doing yard work, but we couldn't test them out -- While the alarm itself worked, the magnets to attach itself together didn’t.
When we went to the store to return the product, we were told other models had issues.
Tip: Contact the company that put in the gate and see if they have an alarm that would work and fit your home’s needs.
Pooleye Pool Alarm
This alarm can be set up on the side of your pool, the stairs, or a railing.
When someone or something falls in the water, the ripples hit the sensor that sits in the water, triggering the alarm on a portable speaker you can take inside the house with you.
On the low-sensitivity setting, it takes time for the waves to hit the sensor and set the alarm off, but when it’s on the high-sensitivity setting, the alarm goes off with nearly any small movement.
Tip: We found the products on store shelves were outdated and some didn’t work. Save yourself the trip and try going online for products. Search each product’s reviews before buying.
Products can malfunction and not save lives. No product beats keeping eyes on the pool.
Here’s some advice from the experts:
- Assign a “Pool Watcher”
Let’s face it, when there are many adults around a pool, everyone thinks someone is watching., but that’s not always the case. Assign someone and make it known. You can even give them a bracelet or necklace to wear. That adult’s job is to watch the pool at all times. If that person needs a break, make sure they tap in another adult to be the “Pool Watcher”.
- An Arm’s Reach Away
Stay in arm’s reach of kids. The person watching over the swimmers should always be close by the pool, not watching from afar.
- Buddy System
Make sure kids are always swimming with a buddy who can get help if they start to struggle.
- Whistle Alert
Hang a whistle in the backyard near the pool so the buddy can blow it if a child starts to drown. Parties can get loud and sometimes it can be difficult for a child’s voice to be heard.
- No One in the Pool
Remind your kids, no one goes in or near a pool until an adult is there and states out loud they are watching and ready for them to jump in.
- Put the Toys Away
Too many floatation devices in the pool can be dangerous and can trap someone underneath.
- Secure Your Pool
Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool when not in use. Remove any ladders or steps used to get in.
- Swim Jackets
Have inexperienced swimmers wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Clean and Clear
Keep your pool water clean and clear. Make sure you’re maintaining proper chemical levels, circulation and filtration.
- Establish and Enforce Rules
Rules and safe behaviors, such as ‘no diving’ and ‘no running’ should always be enforced each and every time kids are getting into the pool.
If you own a pool, make sure everyone in the home knows how to respond to an emergency by taking water safety, first aid, and CPR courses. First aid and safety equipment should be in the house as well.