A West Midlands company has developed a unique child safety wristband to protect them at theme parks, holiday resorts, entertainment complexes, crèches, play arenas and health facilities across the country.
Childminder’s wristband is a secure, re-usable reinforced device which signals a parent, carer or guardian in real time when a child is leaving a venue or building – the only security system of its kind to do so.
The product has been designed specifically for use in conjunction with existing, established technology and requires no batteries or physical maintenance.
Developed by Wolverhampton-based Childminder Security Systems, with the support of a £20,000 micro grant from Regional Development Agency Advantage West Midlands, the hi-tech product and system has been successfully implemented at Wonderland theme park in Telford; Shropshire’s largest visitor attraction.
Sally Stallard, managing director of Childminder, and a mother of two young children, said: “Until now, there has been no practical and affordable solution which adequately helps to prevent young children from leaving a public place without the knowledge of their parent, carer or guardian.
“While alarm systems in general terms are well established, there was a need for an affordable wristband for use in conjunction with these systems; a comfortable option which could be properly secured to a child.
“Our product is more cost effective than comparable alternatives and is the only option to offer real time alerts when a child leaves a venue; it also ensures that lost children are reunited with parents without distress by linking a child’s wristband to the mobile number of their parent or teacher.”
Belinda Griffiths, owner and director of Telford’s Wonderland, said: “We are very proud to be the first leisure venue to implement Childminder’s exciting new product.
“It’s a success story of two entrepreneurial organisations coming together in the face of the economic downturn to address an important problem for our industry and we are sure that it will not be long before this system becomes commonplace.
“Feedback from our visitors has been excellent. Parents seem to enjoy their visit more and teachers gain valuable assurance for their pre-excursion risk assessments. We are able to hire out the wristbands and so for us they create a new revenue stream.”
Ms Stallard added: “The wristband itself includes a ferrite core which we needed to develop and test. We also needed to optimise the design to ensure user compatibility and establish the most appropriate type and grade of plastic for volume injection moulding manufacturing methods.
“I am delighted by the support we have received from Advantage West Midlands. The grant enabled us to work with a technical specialist to develop a truly unique and innovative product, and from there we have been able to move forward quickly.
“The trial at Wonderland has been a success and we are now in negotiations with a number of well-known venues, facilities and organisations across the UK who are impressed with Childminder Security System’s simplicity and cost-effectiveness. We are starting the www.funvenues.com site where the general public will be able to search for venues offering appropriate child safety services.
“The wristbands are not a substitute for parental care and responsibility but we are aiming to provide guardians and venues with more options and freedom of choice to better protect children,” Ms Griffiths added. “The potential market is enormous and includes the healthcare sector, to which we will supply our baby tagging, pediatric security and adult care systems to help with infection prevention, identity control and security.”
Steve Hines, grants case officer at Advantage West Midlands, said: “The Grant for Research and Development is designed specifically to support innovative businesses like Childminder, to help develop the new products, processes and services which are essential to the successful economic future of the region.”