Examination of a pilot intervention program to change parent supervision behaviour at Australian public swimming pools

Matthews, Bernadette L., and Franklin, Richard C. (2018) Examination of a pilot intervention program to change parent supervision behaviour at Australian public swimming pools. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 29 (2). pp. 153-159.

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Abstract

Issue addressed: Drowning is one of the leading causes of unintentional death in children worldwide. There is limited evidence about the effectiveness of programs targeting child drowning prevention at public swimming pools. We examined the effectiveness of a public education program (Keep Watch @ Public Pools) for improving child supervision levels by parents at public swimming pools.

Methods: The program was evaluated via an observational study of parent supervision behaviour with children aged 0-14years. Measures included domains of attention, proximity and preparedness. A rating scale from 0=least effective to 4=most effective was used, based upon the supervision domains. Seven public swimming pools in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia were randomised to either intervention or control pool. The intervention occurred over sixweeks, and observations were taken over a one-week period both pre- and postintervention. Observations of a total of 10186 children and 6930 parents/carers were recorded and analysed.

Results: A significant improvement in attention, proximity and preparedness was observed in parents of children aged 6-10years at intervention pools. However, similar results were not observed in parents of children aged 0-5years and 11-14years.

Conclusions: Supervision behaviour of parents can be modified, and the implications of these results for the community through to practice and policy are discussed.

So what? Targeted public education programs provide an effective way of improving parental supervision of children at public swimming pools. Such education programs should be widely implemented throughout public swimming pools, as one part of a comprehensive approach to drowning prevention.

Item ID: 55566
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2201-1617
Keywords: aquatic risk management, children, commercial aquatic facility, drowning, lifeguard
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 08:41
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111712 Health Promotion @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 100%
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