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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 184-189

Evaluation of the WAVE Drowning Detection SystemTM for use with children's summer camp groups in swimming pools: A prospective observational study

1 Trauma and Injury Research Center, Dell Children's Medical Center, Austin; Department of Kinesiology, University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, USA
2 Trauma and Injury Research Center, Dell Children's Medical Center; Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care, Dell Medical School, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Molly B Johnson
Trauma and Injury Research Center, Dell Children's Medical Center, 4900 Mueller Blvd, Austin, TX 78723
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijciis.ijciis_24_22

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Background: Groups of children swimming during summer camp or child care are generally monitored by a small number of lifeguards and staff. The high child-to-staff ratio can make pool monitoring less effective, increasing drowning risk. The aim of this study is to evaluate novel drowning detection technology that could supplement pool monitoring. Methods: The WAVE Drowning Detection System was deployed at a camp pool for 8 weeks. The WAVE Drowning Detection System entails headbands worn by swimmers that send alerts to vibrating staff bracelets and audible alarms when submerged for a period of time. Data on the number of alerts were collected, and staff were surveyed. Results: One or two alerts were initiated every hour. Staff reported that risky underwater play and exiting the pool area were top reasons for alerts. Staff found the awareness brought to risky pool behavior useful and had a neutral attitude about false alarms. Staff found the system easy to learn and use but suggested headband fit and comfort could be improved. Staff believed the system could help save someone's life. Conclusions: The WAVE system is low-risk, easy-to-use technology that may supplement lifeguard monitoring of large groups of children in pools.

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