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Interactive iBook, Game Spreads Water Safety Message



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Interactive iBook, Game Spreads Water Safety Message

NEWINGTON — Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities has launched its new Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim mobile app for iPad and iPhone. The app, which is free of charge, is the first app of its kind designed to promote water safety to children.

It was remarkably approved by Apple on April 4, which would have been Stew Leonard III’s 25th birthday.

The Stewie the Duck story began on January 1, 1989, when Stew Jr and his wife Kim lost their 21-month-old toddler in a drowning accident. This sparked Stew Jr and Kim to pledge that they would do everything in their power to prevent this tragedy from striking other families.

“Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under age 5. We see kids who are using and enjoying their parents’ iPhone and iPads every day, so we knew that developing a water safety app would be a great way to communicate with parents and children alike,” said Kim and Stew Leonard, founders of Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities. “We hope Stewie the Duck’s message reaches families all over the country and that lives are saved through this app.”

Written for children ages 2 through 6, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim conveys an important message of how to be safe near the water through the story of Stewie, a duck who wants to swim with the “big ducks,” but is prevented from going in the water by his older sisters until he learns the water safety rules.

The ibook features read-to-me audio and contains interactive animations, sound effects, a memory game, and a sing-along. Highlights of the app include:

*Memory Game & Song: Children can sing along with Stewie’s water safety song. Children learn through repetition, and the more time a child spends playing with this app, the more he or she will internalize the important water safety rules.

*Read-to-me audio: Written as a child’s first guide to water safety, the read-to-me audio option is an opportunity for parents or caregivers and children to enjoy Stewie’s story together. The read-to-me audio option also pauses at the end of each page, giving parents and children the opportunity to review Stewie’s lessons.

*Tips for Parents: As parents who lost their own child in a drowning accident, the Leonards share tips and lessons on how to help keep a child safe around the water in a video message. Also included are water safety tips, information about the foundation, and a letter from Lawrence E. Shapiro, PhD, about how to make water safety and prevention a habit.

The Stewie the Duck app, which was developed by The Allen Group, Inc in Norwalk, can be downloaded via iTunes.com by searching Stewie the Duck. To learn more about how to help keep children safe in and around the water and about home pool safety, visit the American Red Cross website at redcross.org/watersafetytips.

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