Learning to swim: an exploration of negative prior aquatic experiences among children

Peden, Amy, and Franklin, Richard (2020) Learning to swim: an exploration of negative prior aquatic experiences among children. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17 (10). 3557.

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Learning to swim via a structured program is an important skill to develop aquatic competencies and prevent drowning. Fear of water can produce phobic behaviors counterproductive to the learning process.No research examines the influence of negative aquatic experiences on learning to swim. This study explored the influence of children’s negative prior aquatic experiences (NPAE) on learn-to-swim achievement via swim school data. Children’s enrolment records (5–12years) in the Australian Capital Territory were analyzed via demographics, level achieved and NPAE. NPAE was recorded as yes/no, with free text thematically coded to 16 categories. Of 14,012 records analyzed (51% female; 64% aged 6–8years), 535 (4%) reported a NPAE at enrolment. Males, children with a medical condition andattending public schools were significantlymore likely (p=0.001) to report a NPAE. Children reporting a NPAE achieved a lower average skill level at each year of age. The largest proportion (19%) of NPAE reported related to swimming lessons. NPAE have a detrimental influence on aquatic skill achievement. We recommend increased adult supervision to reduce likelihood of an NPAE occurring, while alsoencouraging swim instructorsto consider NPAE when teaching swimming and develop procedures to ensure a NPAE does not occur during instruction.

Item ID: 64988
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1660-4601
Keywords: drown; swim; physical education; child; swimming lessons; aquatic activity; teaching; prevention; safety; business
Copyright Information: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2020 03:54
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420210 Social epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 100%
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