Press Releases & Recent News

October 2018 - Potty Duck Press Release for Las Vegas ABC TOY Show
Contact Sue Dobbe-Leahy 815.236.1550 or
sue@dobbemarketing.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

POTTY DUCK DEBUTS AT ABC KIDS EXPO IN LAS VEGAS

(Grayslake, IL) Pediatrician Dr. Shelly Mann co-created Potty Duck to help parents introduce playful learning during potty training. The toy is comprised of an iconic rubber duck paired with a 5” flushable toy toilet for bath time play. It will debut at the ABC Kids Expo in Las Vegas October 9-11th. Dr. Mann will be in attendance for the duration of the expo to answer any questions.

“In my 25-years as a pediatrician, potty training is the most difficult time for toddlers and parents,” explains Dr. Mann. “Potty Duck engages toddlers to play with a rubber duck that “pees” into the “potty” which is then “flushed” by the toddler. Children learn through play the words and actions of potty training.”

Available through the website www.PottyDuck.com or on Amazon.com, Potty Duck has sold primarily through online and a few gift stores. Recipient of the 2017 Creative Child Award for Product of the Year by Creative Child Magazine, Potty Duck is Pediatrician Recommended and endorsed by Dr. Barton Schmitt. The ABC Kids Expo will offer the product to a broad spectrum of national retailers and representatives.

Demonstration videos and testimonials from parents, grandparents, pre-school teachers, and medical professionals are available on YouTube and the www.PottyDuck.com site. Dr. Mann offers a list of Potty Training Tips on the website and social media to help parents understand the important role of teaching while training, and making the process fun versus frustrating.

“It’s important for parents to understand potty training is a process, not an event. Parents often ask ‘How do I start potty training?’ ”says Dr. Mann. “My answer is to start with talking and demonstrating the process. Potty Duck does both with play and laughter. Any preparation a parent can do will ease the transition out of diapers.”

Dr. Shelly Mann has authored a children’s book, “Hello Potty” to market with Potty Duck. Illustrated by Woodstock, Illinois artist Nancy L. Steinmeyer, the book follows the adventures of Potty Duck and Mother Duck from introduction of the potty to successfully peeing on the potty.

Potty Duck is offered in 12-count and 24-count units and can be displayed in the diaper aisle with shelf clip or in the toy department of gift and specialty stores. For more information or to order Potty Duck, visit www.PottyDuck.com.

Dr. Shelly Mann, co-creator of Potty Duck, is a pediatrician in Grayslake, Illinois. She is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Advocate Condell Medical Center and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital. Dr. Mann received her medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 25 years. In 2016, Dr. Mann collaborated with Fred Longenecker to create Potty Duck and founded Potty Discovery, LLC.

      

South Bend inventor brings fun to potty training with Potty Duck
 

Reprinted from South Bend Tribune. See complete story with videoAlso see 8-minute video backgrounder here.

JANUARY 24, 2018 —
Give Fred Longenecker credit for never abandoning his dream.

About 20 years ago, Longenecker was bathing his toddler when he decided to place a leaky bath toy on a potty.

“We pretended we were making the toy pee,” he said.

But a couple of days later, his daughter—now a senior at Goshen College—said that she wanted to use the potty like the toy, Longenecker recounted. The quick connection that his daughter made through play was never forgotten.

And today, that idea has become a toy called the Potty Duck that is being sold on Amazon and at pottyduck.com.

But there were a lot of years in between as Longenecker and his wife juggled their jobs with child-rearing responsibilities.

Longenecker said he would casually pass the idea on to friends and acquaintances who were experiencing anxiety as a result of potty training.

About 10 years went by before he visited a patent attorney, who suggested that he needed more than just a rubber ducky with a hole in the bottom that could take in and release water.

Working with people with the Indiana Small Business Development Center, Longenecker came up with the idea of including a little plastic toilet with suction cups so that it could be attached to the side of a bathtub or sink along with a rubber ducky.

But help was needed to make the idea a reality.
A graduate of Goshen College, Longenecker was taking in a soccer game when he ran into some old college friends. After talking about the need for assistance to move the product forward, Dr. Shelly Mann, a former classmate and now a Chicago-area pediatrician, decided to partner with Longenecker.

Dr. Mann suggested they put a little flush device at the top of the plastic toilet to make the toy even more interactive, and with a bit more luck, Longenecker happened upon a story in The Tribune about Marcia Haut, of Bristol, who invented a now-successful toy called the Nogginstik.

Haut provided Longenecker with the name of her toy designer from Connecticut. That business was able to develop the manufacturing drawings and connect Longenecker with an overseas manufacturer as well as a shipping company.

The Potty Duck went on sale via the company’s website in January 2016 and on Amazon about a year later. Longenecker now hopes to get the toys in some stores as well as child-care centers.

Mann offers it to some of her patients’ parents, who she knows are having some anxiety about the issue, and she says some kids catch on almost immediately after playing with the bath toy.

Mann recommends the Potty Duck for children 18 months and older.

“I’m not talking about early potty training,” she said. “I’m talking about preparing a child — ‘This is just something you do as a part of a natural routine.’ When the child is ready, you can train them.”

The toy has received a positive review by Dr. Barton Schmitt, an American Academy of Pediatrics’ expert on potty training, who says the toy is “the most magical potty training motivator available today.”

It’s also received positive reviews from the parents who have given the toy a try judging by the comments on Amazon and elsewhere.

Ashley VanOosterum of South Bend said she used the bath toy with her 4-year-old son Carter and she’s using it now with her 28-month-old son Colin.

“I think they learn from the play,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and it gives parents a way to talk with their children about using the potty.

“It’s about the top toy in our bathtub,” she said.
Though Dr. Mann and Longenecker don’t plan to quit their day jobs, they do have ideas for other items that will help children learn through play.

Longenecker said a portion of the proceeds from each sale also will go to non-governmental agencies involved in building latrines in developing countries.

“We’re interested in things,” he said, “that make life better for children, parents and society.”


Leading pediatrician Dr. Barton Schmitt endorses Potty Duck Potty Training Toy

September 8, 2017 -  The new water-potty toy for potty training, Potty Duck, has received a ringing endorsement from Dr. Barton Schmitt, MD, FAAP, a renowned leader in the field of pediatrics and author of American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for potty training.

"Potty Duck is the most magical potty training motivator available today,” says Dr. Schmitt, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Denver. “I recommend Potty Duck in my potty training workshops and in my pediatric advice protocols for pediatricians and nurses."

Dr. Schmitt has written more than 100 articles on pediatric health care, including articles on gradual potty training.

Dr. Schmitt has pointed out that the biggest mistake parents make in potty training is doing nothing to prepare the child until the week they start toilet training. Parents can reduce stress and make training easier by viewing potty training as a gradual learning process, similar to learning to walk. For this reason, Dr. Schmitt recommends using Potty Duck not only for potty training, but also prior to the child actually starting potty training, so the child can begin learning through play.

"Potty Duck is a toy that can make potty training fun and faster," wrote Dr. Schmitt in his Toilet Readiness Training protocol.

Dr. Schmitt's endorsement of Potty Duck adds to the recent high rating of Potty Duck given by the developmental toy experts at AblePlay.org, a program of the National Lekotek Center based in Chicago, as well as the 2017 Toddler Product of the Year Award granted by Creative Child magazine.

Pediatrician Dr. Shelly Mann developed Potty Duck based on Dr. Schmitt's potty training guidelines. Hence, his endorsement is a fitting salute!

See the Science Behind Potty Duck and learn more about gradual potty training.

 

2017 Creative Child Toy Product of the Year Award Went to Potty Duck

June 12, 2017 – The Potty Duck™ potty training toy by Potty Discovery, LLC, Grayslake, Illinois, has been named the Creative Child Magazine’s 2017 Toy of the Year in the Toddler Products category. The Potty Duck is the first offering from Potty Discovery LLC, a newly launched potty training toy company that advocates for making potty training fun for children ages 18 months and above.

“We are honored to be named 2017 Product of the Year by Creative Child Magazine,” said Dr. Shelly Mann, the pediatrician co-founder of Potty Discovery LLC. “Potty Duck has been warmly received by parents, therapists, and caregivers since it was first introduced. The toy was designed to make potty training enjoyable for children, and easier for parents. Awards such as this, as well as the recent high rating from the National Lekotek Center, confirm that we are on mission by producing toys that do more than just entertain, but that also ease the fear around potty training.”

Creative Child’s Awards Program takes a unique approach to reviewing products by having a panel of psychologists, educators, parents and children evaluate new toys based on educational value, creative nurturing, creative play, and overall value with respect to retail. Each product is tested by a variety of reviewers who are people who would purchase the product. Award winners are based on the scores and comments of the reviewers.

A complete list of all award winners will be posted online at www.CreativeChild.com.

 

The Iconic Rubber Ducky Has a New Mission for Children, Parents, and the Environment

January 4, 2017  After more than 60 years of floating around in bathtubs with little to do, the iconic rubber ducky now has an important mission―to help potty train children through play.

Potty training through play
Introducing Potty Duck™—a squirting rubber duck and flushing toy toilet for boys and girls ages 1 to 3. By squeezing the soft rubber duck to make it pee, and flushing the toilet, children are learning the steps to go themselves.  

How it works: Children play with the toy in a bathtub, sink, or basin. Using the toy as an example, parents or caregivers teach the child the words: pee, toilet, flush, and "go potty." Science shows children are great imitators. When children seem ready, parents encourage the child to practice sitting on a real potty to try to "go like the duck." With practice, children soon catch on, saving time and money on diapers. Potty Duck becomes a child's favorite potty training buddy - while playing with water, for pretend play without water, and when imitating the duck to actually use the potty.

“Parents are often anxious about potty training, but it becomes fun and enjoyable when you use Potty Duck,” says Dr. Shelly Mann, the pediatrician co-founder of Potty Discovery LLC, who tested the toy with her patients in 2016. "Parents tell us that Potty Duck makes potty training much easier. The rubber duck gives children a helpful example to imitate."

Rubber duck aims to save parents hundreds of dollars in diapers and reduce landfill waste
1948: Introduction of disposable diapers.
1949: Introduction of uncapsizable rubber duck.
2016: Introduction of Potty Duck, a rubber duck for potty training.

In the late 1940s, nobody could have guessed that the just-invented rubber duck and just-invented disposable diaper would both become ubiquitous in America. Since the invention of disposable diapers, the average age of completing potty training has significantly increased as well.

In 1999, The New York Times reported that the age at which children become diaper-free has steadily increased since 1957 when 92 percent were toilet trained by 18 months. By 2001, according to a report in the Ambulatory Pediatrics Journal, the average age of potty training completion in the U.S. had reached 35 months for girls and 39 months for boys.

Today, a typical baby undergoes 5,000 to 8,000 diaper changes, costing the average family $1,500 to $2,000 in diapers over the baby’s first three years and resulting in landfill waste that takes 250 to 500 years to decompose.

For these reasons, part of Potty Duck’s purpose is to help families corral the costs of disposables.

Just $19.95 at PottyDuck.com  
Potty Duck is available for purchase at PottyDuck.com and on Amazon. The package includes a soft rubber duck squirt toy with a flushing toy toilet and potty training tips and instructions from Dr. Mann. Potty Duck meets or exceeds all safety requirements for children’s toys, and is BPA-free and phthalate-free. Ten percent of its proceeds go to organizations that build toilets and improve sanitation for children around the world (Honduras and elsewhere). For more, go to www.PottyDuck.com.


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About Potty Discovery LLC
Based near Chicago, Potty Discovery LLC is a social enterprise focused on making potty training fun and easier while bringing multiple social benefits. In addition to Potty Duck, more potty toys and products are in development. Learn more at
www.PottyDuck.com.

  

Media inquiries

Please direct media inquiries to:
Linfred (Fred) Longenecker
Co-Founder
Potty Discovery LLC
Email Fred Longenecker
574.387.1886

 

"Before Potty Duck, our two-year-old wasn't interested in potty training. Potty Duck captured his imagination and made it fun!"
- Mom in Texas     See reviews


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