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YMCA of Austin using Drowning Detection Systems to keep kids safe this summer

The device looks like a headband but once underwater for too long, it triggers an alarm.

AUSTIN, Texas — YMCA Camp Moody is using the WAVE Drowning Detection System to help protect more than 700 Central Texas children this summer. 

The WAVE Drowning Detection System uses a headband or clips attached to swim goggles to measure how long a swimmer's face is underwater. If too long, the alarm sounds, alerting parents/caregivers or lifeguards.

There is also a "Buddy Tag" that triggers an immediate alert if a non-swimmer or pet enters the water. 

Drowning is the No. 1 cause of accidental injury-related death for children under the age of 5. It is the No. 2 cause for ages 1-14. 

"In Texas right now, as we speak, we've lost at least 51 children to fatal, preventable drownings in all kinds of water," said Colin's Hope executive director Alissa Magrum. 

Colin's Hope, which provides water safety awareness, education and resources to prevent children from drowning, teamed up with the YMCA and WAVE. 

The vice president of YMCA of Austin, Sean Doles, said it's a lifesaver. 

"I've heard anecdotally that it has absolutely prevented accidents from happening," said Doles. "Kids get, you know, they're horsing around, they get caught underwater; they get caught in the deep end. The alarm goes off, and somebody is able to jump in or lend a helping hand and pull them to safety." 

The device is portable so that you can use it in any body of water.

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