Parental Supervision At Aquatic Facilities

Three toddlers sitting on the edge of a public pool splashing water

Royal Life Saving Society WA and Edith Cowan University partnered to undertake research into parent supervision in public aquatic centres in 2019. Researchers observed 449 children and their carers at two Western Australian public swimming pools and conducted 10 in-depth interviews with parents about their own perceptions of their supervision responsibilities and the barriers to supervision.

Overall supervision levels differed with gender, with only 44% of female caregivers providing ideal supervision, compared with 72% of male caregivers. Of the caregivers observed using their mobile phones (22%), none provided ideal supervision. The main distractions included mobile phone use, interacting with other adults, being responsible for multiple children, and the pool environment which could be busy and noisy. 

The findings of the study provided important insight to inform the ongoing delivery of the Watch Around Water program. Royal Life Saving WA partners with the Leisure Institute of WA (LIWA) to promote Watch Around Water, which educates parents about the need for close supervision of the children at public pools. 

The study results were published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia and can be found below. 

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 Learn more about the Watch Around Water program at the link below.

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