Disclaimer – I have a material and/or financial connection because I received a gift, sample of a product and/or compensation for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.
Nothing makes me more upset than being at a pool or beach and watching kids playing in the water or near the shore without supervision. Without supervision doesn’t mean that a parent isn’t around – it means they’re too busy checking their phone, talking to a friend or reading a book. Even if a child has had years of swim lessons, drowning can still occur and it only takes seconds. In fact the majority of drownings happen while at least one parent was present. While nothing can replace constant supervision, I was introduced to a product that can bring another layer of protection and can alert a parent to a possible drowning threat – the iSwimband.
The iSwimband is a small, low power wireless sensor that is worn either as a headband or a wristband. The sensor is paired with a compatible bluetooth-enabled smart device running the free iSwimband app. When both the sensor and app are activated, the app continually monitors the status of the sensor. If the app determines that the sensor has been submerged into water (not simply wet), or submerged for a (user-adjustable) dangerous period of time (typically 20 – 30 seconds), it notifies the caregiver via audiovisual alerts before the event can turn tragic.
We had a chance to try out the iSwimband for ourselves to check out how it worked. The set-up was extremely easy (and I’m someone who breaks out in a cold sweat reading instructions) and the instruction manual was easy to follow.
Once the app is set up, you receive an alert that the band is connected. The sound is as loud as any other tone on your phone and what’s nice is you can also link it to speakers so if you’re in a loud area you can be sure to hear it.
The one challenge is getting kids to wear it. We tested it out on 8 year-old twin boys. One was much more receptive to wearing it than the other. It really is a matter of simply getting kids used to wearing it and insisting upon it just like a bike helmet or other safety apparatus. What I like is the ability to put it on a toddler who doesn’t swim. If you have more than one child or are at a pool party you can have your non-swimmer wear it if he/she happens to be around the deck of the pool.
One important note is that the phone must be 10ft away from the band in order for it to work so if you’re sitting at the edge of the pool it might be problematic.
Without a doubt this is a fantastic product to give parents added peace of mind. By no means does this mean you don’t need to stay vigilant but, when you have more than one child or if you’re distracted even for a moment the iSwimband can truly make a difference in preventing a terrible accident.