• New technology might be able to prevent pool drownings

    By: Gina Esposito

    Updated:

    BELMONT, N.C. - In an effort to save more lives, YMCA lifeguards in Gaston County are currently training with new technology called “swim safe” neck bands.

    [RELATED: Child hospitalized after being pulled from pool at YMCA in Ballantyne]

    The band snaps around the child’s neck, and they put it on before getting into the pool.

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    When a child goes under water for more 15 seconds, their necklace will start flashing, then an alarm will sound to alert the lifeguard.

    The technology was developed by a pediatric doctor in Raleigh, who said he had seen too many young children die from drowning over the years.

    “After one of the many drownings, it started chewing away at my soul,” said Dr. Graham Snyder. “I got to solve this problem.”

    Thursday was the first day children were using the bands at the YMCA in Belmont, a day after a toddler nearly drowned in a pool at the Morrison YMCA in Ballantyne.

    Medic said it responded to the call just before 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Luckily, the 2-year-old was right in front of the lifeguard stand, when the guard saw she was in distress, acted quickly and pulled her from the water.

    Snyder and the YMCA hope to bring the bands to more pools in North Carolina.

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