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Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities has introduced the Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim mobile app for iPad and iPhone. The free app -- the first of its kind to promote water safety to children -- was approved by Apple on April 4, which would have been Stew Leonard III’s 25th birthday. Stew Leonard III died in a drowning accident in 1989 at the age of 21 months, spurring his parents, Stew Leonard Jr. of the Stew Leonard’s grocery chain and his wife, Kim, to devote themselves to the cause of water safety..
“Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under age 5,” noted the Leonards, who founded Stew Leonard III Children’s Charities in honor of their son. “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. We hope Stewie the Duck’s message reaches families all over the country and that lives are saved through this app.”
Aimed at children ages 2 through 6, Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim tells the story of Stewie, a little duck who wants to swim with the “big ducks,” but is prevented from going into the water by his older sisters until he learns about water safety. The ibook features read-to-me audio and contains interactive animations, sound effects, a memory game and a sing-along. Additional highlights of the app include tips for parents from the Leonards, who appear in a video message.
The app, which was developed by the Allen Group Inc. in Stew Leonard’s hometown of Norwalk, Conn., can be downloaded via iTunes.com by searching “Stewie the Duck.” Parents can get additional water safety information by visiting the American Red Cross website.
The release of the app coincides with Water Safety Awareness Month in May.