Safety Turtle® Helps Protect Toddlers from Drowning Accidents
Ottawa inventor of personal wireless alarm wins $10,000 Manning Award
Calgary, AB, September 13, 2004 — Safety Turtle® is a personal wireless alarm system designed to protect young children from drowning or serious injury in backyard swimming pools, lakes and other water hazards. Unlike other alarms that are triggered when a person enters a swimming pool area, the Safety Turtle system goes with and safeguards the child wherever he or she goes.
Inventor Bob Lyons, President of Terrapin Communications Inc. of Ottawa, Ont., has won a prestigious $10,000 Manning Innovation Award, sponsored by Noranda Inc., for his safety innovation that is helping to protect children, seniors, disabled persons and even pets from drowning.
Lyons, who has a PhD from Carleton University in Ottawa, has 25 years' experience developing analog and digital communications systems and products.
As a parent, he knows that a toddler can drown in the time it takes to answer the phone.
His Safety Turtle system includes a locking wristband, designed in the shape of a colourful turtle that is worn on the child's wrist. The wristband instantly detects immersion in water and sends a radio signal to a base station in the home, sounding a loud alarm. The Safety Turtle is designed so that rain and spray from lawn sprinklers won't trigger the alarm, but a toddler wading into a pool or lake will.
"Safety Turtle is the only alarm that works in a shared pool setting," Lyons says. "And wherever the child goes, Safety Turtle follows."
Swimming pools are a lot of fun. But they can also be deadly places for young children. Each year, among children ages 4 and under, there are approximately 400 residential swimming pool drownings and 3,000 near-drownings in Canada and the U.S., according to public health figures.
The best protection against such a tragedy is the constant supervision by the parent or adult, Lyons says. Homeowners should also secure their swimming pool, ideally with a four-sided pool safety fence with self-latching gate.
Ottawa grandparents Jack and Dorothy Hobbs always use Safety Turtle at their lakeside cottage, as a backup to keeping an eye on their three young grandchildren and to help protect other kids who visit. "It has given us security and peace of mind. We know it works and will work if needed," Jack says.
Lyons launched Safety Turtle in 1998. Terrapin Communications is now selling approximately 20,000 units per year in North America, Europe, South Africa, Australia and Latin America.
The product (www.safetyturtle.com) has been featured three times on Oprah Winfrey's popular TV show, has been recommended by the Good Housekeeping Institute, and has been displayed as one of Canada's brightest innovations at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
Safety Turtle meets all government safety requirements for young children, and the extended-range, dual-alarm version complies with the ASTM Standard for Pool Alarms.
Since 1982, the annual Manning Awards program has encouraged and rewarded leading Canadian innovators with more than $3 million in prize money. This year's four major winners, being announced throughout September, will share a total of $145,000. All will be honoured at the annual gala awards dinner Oct. 1 in Vancouver.
For more information about the award-winning Safety Turtle, please visit www.safetyturtle.com or contact Bob Lyons at (613)-271-0050 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Ernest C. Manning Awards Foundation, please contact Donald Park, Executive Director, at (403)-645-8288 or e-mail: Don.Park@encana.com
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