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Development of a tool for Individual Aquatic Risk Management among children of 6-12 years (IARM-C)

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Background: When it comes to children’s competence in, on and around water, their risk management also plays an important role. For an optimal and save participation in aquatic recreation, there is a crucial need to communicate about a realistic perception of potential dangers in relation to one’s own actual and perceived aquatic skills. Goals: The aim of this study was to develop and validate a tool for Individual Aquatic Risk Management for Children (IARM-C) useful in both research and practice regarding water safety for elementary school children and their families, as offered in schools, by local communities and different (water) sport organisations. Method: The IARM-C tool was developed and validated in three subsequent phases: (1) a selection of relevant aquatic situations with possible risks for children based on the literature and discussed with experts, resulting in 10 aquatic situations that were drawn, (2) a pilot study with 22 children to test content (face) validity, and (3) a cross-sectional study with 70 children (6-12 years, 35 girls and 35 boys, 8.9 ± 2.0 years) recruited via convenience sampling in different (swimming) schools in Brussel (Belgium) to test their risk perception, assessment and decision making in these 10 situations. Results: For each of the 10 aquatic risk situations of the IARM-C, data collection was organised in a one-on-one interview in order to assist the child in completing the questionnaire. Six of the 10 pictures resulted in a correct risk perception for > 80% (range between 83-94%) of the children. For one drawn aquatic risk situation in the swimming pool context (i.e. falling on someone else), only 60% of the children gave a correct description of the situation. In the drawn open water aquatic risk situations, three pictures scored quite low (range between 49%-54%): warning flag at sea, dangerous objects and sandbank in the sea. Conclusions: The IARM-C tool, showing pictures of aquatic risk situations followed by three categories of questions (risk perception, assessment and decision making), is a useful instrument for further research and education purposes, especially for the swimming pool cases.
Tijdschrift: Revista de Investigación en Actividades Acuáticas
Issue: 11
Volume: 6
Pagina's: 29-36
Jaar van publicatie:2022