With their anti-drowning t-shirt, they hope to bring some peace of mind to parents

This is one of the worst fears of parents of young children when the good weather returns. It must be said that drowning is one of the main causes of death by accident in everyday life: of the 1,480 recorded in 2021, which did not all lead to death, 22% concerned children under 6 years old, mostly in private pools.

To avoid them, multiple safety devices have been made mandatory in recent years, from the barrier to the tarpaulin, including alarms. “It’s just environmental protection. As for swimming armbands and vests, children wear them when they are in the water, under the supervision of their parents. However, accidents often happen when they are not supposed to go into the water. We then rely solely on the supervision of the parents, but it is not infallible”, notes Thibaut Choulet, co-founder of the anti-drowning t-shirt called Floatee.

The Floatee Anti-Drowning Tee, when deflated. – Floatee

Conscious that there was a path to dig so that the little ones who do not yet know how to swim avoid any danger, with Philippe Rouvier, whom he knew on the benches of the Insa engineering school, they set up developed this innovative garment for children aged 18 months to six years.

After making more than 50 prototypes, they arrived at a finalized and patented version. In appearance, it could look like any UV-resistant, resistant t-shirt that you can wear all day without being embarrassed. But when the wearer falls into the water, in less than three seconds, it turns into a real life jacket. And is also certified as such at European level.

Presales until mid-December on Ulule

“While a classic T-shirt has five panels, ours has 14. Inside, you can slip an inflatable lung the thickness of two sheets of paper. There is also a soluble trigger which, in contact with water, will pierce a cylinder of CO2 which will trigger inflation,” explains Thibaut Choulet, whose company has received several awards for this concept which did not yet exist.

A system designed to activate only when there is an immersion, not in an untimely way when the children splash at the edge of the swimming pool. But this is not the only advantage of this product made in France and without chemicals. Unlike floating swimsuits, which are more of a swimming aid, thanks to two abdominal floats, Floatee guarantees rotation of the child on his back, thus keeping his respiratory tract out of the water.

After having it tested this summer by several children, the two young entrepreneurs launched a few days ago an Ulule presales campaign, until mid-December, with discounts on the standard price, reduced to 119 euros for the anti-drowning T-shirt, among four colors to choose from. The inflatable lung being separable, there will also be the possibility of buying a model of t-shirt larger than 59 euros when the child grows up.

By the end of the year, the Toulousains of Floatee will start producing pre-sold T-shirts, which will be delivered in the spring. “Our objective is then to launch production in several thousand units to increase profitability. And the idea is to eventually market them via the distribution sector,” concludes Thibaut Choulet. With the ambition to one day find their anti-drowning t-shirt in the major sports store brands.

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