Drowning prevention: YMCA in Buda uses ‘headband’ system to monitor swimmers who want help


BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — The first two weeks of August are, on average, the hottest times of the year in Central Texas. And with summer coming to a close, many plan to head to the beaches, lakes, and pools to enjoy the last bit of it. But with more people heading to bodies of water to cool off means the risk for drownings goes up as well.

Now, WAVE Drowning Detection System has an added layer of protection from drowning.

The system is used by wearing a headband by any individual who wishes to be monitored by the system. If the headpiece is underwater for too long, an alarm sounds loud enough for life guards, parents and caregivers.

The system comes with headbands and goggles. There’s even a wearable “tag” that will sound the same alarm if the tag even gets wet.

Alissa Magrum, executive director of Colin’s Hope, a local non-profit that promotes water safety awareness supports the use of WAVE Drowning Detection System for anyone. This is why Colin’s Hope teamed up with the YMCA to help promote the product.

“There’s a lifeguard, there’s camp staff, having these as a layer of protection if someone gets into trouble the lifeguard is going to find out. Because drowning is fast and silent. So having another layer of protection, we’re absolutely in support of,” says Magrum.

The vice president of YMCA Austin, Sean Doles, explains further.

“The [w10 Hub] works. It makes it easier for our life guards, for our counselors. We want to give these kids a fun experience, but we also want to keep them safe.”

According to WAVE, drowning is the number 2 leading cause of death for children ages 1-4, 88% of drownings happen with supervision present, and a child can drown in as little as 20 seconds (less than a minute for adults).

The hope of WAVE and local non-profits such as Colin’s Hope is to improve on these statistics.

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