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Abstract

This study examined the level of caregiver supervision when children were engaged in active play at public pools. A six-hour unobtrusive observation period was conducted at six different indoor aquatic venues with caregivers accompanying children aged < 10 years eligible to be monitored. Child behavior, corresponding caregiver supervision and the willingness of parents to intervene when children exhibited unsafe behaviors were considered. Environmental factors and pool conditions were also recorded. Chi-square tests illustrated that increased supervision was associated with decreased incidents and lower risk behaviors. Supervision was significantly affected by child and caregiver age, number of children for whom caregivers were responsible, and child swimming ability. The nature of caregiver supervision in aquatic settings requires further investigation to enable the development of effective programs to address poor supervision practices.

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