Swimming and water safety delivery for newly arrived Australians

Article


Kiss, Beáta, Caverley, Hannah L M, Duke, Charlotte, Baker, Shayne and Matthews, Bernadette L. 2024. "Swimming and water safety delivery for newly arrived Australians." Health Promotion International. 39 (3). https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daae051
Article Title

Swimming and water safety delivery for newly arrived Australians

ERA Journal ID13560
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsKiss, Beáta, Caverley, Hannah L M, Duke, Charlotte, Baker, Shayne and Matthews, Bernadette L
Journal TitleHealth Promotion International
Journal Citation39 (3)
Article Numberdaae051
Number of Pages11
Year2024
PublisherOxford Brookes University
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0957-4824
1460-2245
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daae051
Web Address (URL)https://academic.oup.com/heapro/article-abstract/39/3/daae051/7685775?redirectedFrom=fulltext
Abstract

In Victoria, Australia, culturally and linguistically diverse communities are more than twice as likely to drown than their Australian-born counterparts. One explanation is the lack of feasible, community-led approaches to water safety and swimming education. A community engagement framework was used to develop and implement a 5-day pool program to teach swimming and water safety to newly arrived migrant children attending an English language school in Victoria. Socio-cultural needs of the predominantly Afghan cohort were incorporated through in-language consultation with parents who requested males and females be educated separately. Participants were assessed against Victorian aquatic competency benchmark standards at pre- and post-program, however, there was no expectation to achieve these competencies within the 5 days due to a lack of prior aquatic exposure. Independent and paired samples t-tests determined changes in skills, including by sex and number of lessons attended. Forty-one participants completed all assessments. Excluding lifesaving skills, there was a significant increase in total competency attainment overall from pre- to post-program (p < 0.001), and for each competency (p's ≤ 0.002)-predominantly knowledge and rescue skills. Improvements were mostly recorded among males, demonstrating that females may require more specialized support to achieve similar outcomes. Improvements in rescue skills and knowledge indicate the program's effectiveness in increasing newly arrived migrant children's awareness of, and exposure to, foundations of safe aquatic behaviours. Future programs tailored to newly arrived migrant communities should consider implementing water familiarization activities as a stepping stone to engagement with structured swimming and water safety education.

KeywordsEnglish language students; culturally and linguistically diverse; drowning prevention; migrant safety; multicultural; water safety education.
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420604. Injury prevention
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Byline AffiliationsLife Saving Victoria, Australia
International Drowning Researcher Alliance, United States
School of Education
Monash University
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