In the summer of 2023, more than 1,300 people drowned in France, including several hundred children in private swimming pools. What kind of pool safety equipment should you choose, between barriers, shelters, alarms and covers?


Public Health France, in partnership with the National Observation System for the Safety of Nautical Activities (Snosan), has initiated epidemiological surveillance of drowning incidents occurring in mainland France and the French overseas territories during the period from 1 June to 30 September 2023. This study revealed that more than 1,300 drownings were reported in France during the summer of 2023, 27% of them fatal.

Private swimming pools are often the scene of tragic drownings, especially among young children. Every year, several hundred drownings occur in this environment, with many fatal consequences.

Despite safety devices such as barriers, alarms and blankets, the risk remains high. Barriers can be poorly locked, and adult vigilance is often reduced in summer. Even with alarms, rapid reaction is crucial if a child falls into the water without direct supervision.

It is therefore essential to remain vigilant around private swimming pools to prevent these accidents.

Public Health France gives us some essential advice on preventing drowning. Swimming involves risks for all ages, and there are simple steps you can take to ensure you swim safely.

For children:

  • Before and during swimming, actively supervise young children at all times
  • Never take your eyes off young children when they are playing near water
  • Bathe with young children when they are in the water
  • Designate one adult per child to supervise them while swimming
  • Throughout the year, teach children to swim as early as possible and familiarise them with the aquatic environment from an early age
  • Learn to swim (from age 6)

For adults:

  • Comply with safety instructions and swimming bans
  • Give priority to supervised bathing areas staffed by professional lifeguards
  • Postpone swimming in the event of physical problems (fatigue, health problems, chills...)
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before swimming
  • Warn a friend or relative before swimming
  • Enter the water gradually, wetting your head, neck and belly to avoid thermal shock, particularly when there is a big difference in temperature between the water and the air.


Floatee VS. Barriers, alarms and buoys: what's the difference?

Floatee's anti-drowning T-shirt differs significantly from other pool safety devices (shelters, alarms, barriers and covers). Unlike these devices, it is not designed to secure the pool itself, but to be worn directly by the child, offering unique and essential protection. It acts automatically in the event of a fall into the water, and rolls the child onto its back to keep the airways out of the water. It's comfortable to wear at all times, as the child is not aware of the danger. 

The anti-drowning T-shirt is an additional protection for children! (and adults too)

Unlike swimming pool barriers, alarms and covers, which require human intervention if a child falls into the water, Floatee acts instantly if the child accidentally ends up in the water.

Fences, alarms or other compulsory safety devices installed at swimming pools require an adult to react quickly if a child nevertheless falls into the water. In summer, barriers are often put aside to make the pool more accessible, but they can also take up a lot of space. And let's not forget that children can get round them if they are not properly locked.

Unfortunately, adult vigilance is not infallible. In the majority of drowning cases, an adult was less than 20 metres away.

You might also ask yourself: why not just give my child some armbands or a floating ring?

Simply because these devices are designed to be worn in the water, as a buoyancy aid for learning to swim (unlike the anti-drowning T-shirt, which is to be worn out of the water). These devices can have drawbacks: they are not practical to wear out of the water and do not protect in the event of a head-first fall into the water, which could leave the child's head submerged.

From a technical perspective, the mandatory safety devices (barriers, alarms, blankets) or buoys and armbands are not certified to the same standard as the anti-drowning T-shirt.

  • Barriers, alarms, covers and shelters, which are compulsory safety equipment for private swimming pools, are subject to standards NF P90-306, NF P90-307, NF P90-308 and NF P90-309.
  • Swimming aids such as buoys and armbands are subject to standard NF EN 13138. Under this standard, the manufacturers of such equipment must explicitly state in their instructions that this equipment does not protect against drowning.
  • The anti-drowning T-shirt is patented and certified according to a protocol based on the NF EN ISO 12402 standard for lifejackets, making it category III (the highest) personal protective equipment.


The anti-drowning T-shirt: an innovation at an affordable price and a message of prevention

In terms of accessibility, the Floatee anti-drowning T-shirt is affordable and does not require complex installation such as barriers or alarms. Its competitive price of €149 makes it affordable compared with other high-tech or structural mandatory safety devices.

To give an order of magnitude, protective barriers for swimming pools can cost between €800 and €2,000, alarms between €200 and €800, and covers between €500 and €8,500. Although these devices are compulsory, the Floatee anti-drowning T-shirt offers a practical and effective additional solution.

Made in France with rigorous safety standards, Floatee benefits from a reliable design, ensuring constant protection without compromising on quality. By making our T-shirt your flagship safety tool, you're supporting a meaningful start-up. We're committed to our mission of preventing drowning and spreading the word about what we do: saving lives.

In our everyday summer lives, water safety is of the utmost importance. As summer approaches, we're looking for relaxing and worry-free moments with our families, and it's at these specific times that we need to understand the risks associated with water activities. Whether at the pool, in the sea, in lakes or on any type of waterway, the dangers of drowning are real and require extra vigilance.

Staying informed and aware of potential risks when taking part in water activities is the key to keeping everyone safe and happy.


Sources (in French):

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