A friend recently fished her unconscious three-year-old daughter from their swimming pool, which was supposedly protected by a fence. Someone had carelessly left the safety gate open and the child had wandered in. Luckily she survived, but the memory of their child floating face down in the water will haunt her parents for years. Safety products can never be substitutes for adult supervision, but most parents know it is difficult to keep an eye on children all the time. A young child can drown quickly, often without any splashing or noise. Shocked by the relatively high numbers of child drownings in North America (in the United States, nearly 400 children under five drown in family-owned pools each year, with 3,000 treated in hospital), Canadian inventor Bob Lyons created the award-winning Safety Turtle. This easy-to-use alarm consists of an AC-powered base station and a wristband with a watch-like turtle. Light and comfortable to wear, it has a childproof lock and is rugged enough to withstand boisterous play. The Safety Turtle activates an extremely loud alarm at the base station as soon as it comes into contact with water (although rain and lawn sprinklers will not set it off). The alarm continues until reset. The system is available in standard and commercial/extended-range versions to suit different locations. Longer wristbands are available to fit adults who may benefit from extra safety measures, such as the disabled or senior citizens. The 'turtle' is even suitable for pets, thanks to a special adaptor that attaches it to a collar. The alarm system is light enough to pack in hand luggage, making it ideal for travel. A battery-pack travel version is also available for locations without electrical power - the seaside, perhaps. Available in six colours and with no limit to the number of turtles that may be used with one base station, the product might even find its way onto school trips. The base station is guaranteed for 12 months and the wristband has a six-month warranty. The base station costs C$165 (HK$1,150), the wristband C$77 and the battery pack-travel model C$135. All are available online at www.safetyturtle.com ; the company will deliver to Hong Kong with the correct AC adaptor.