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Abstract

To study the teacher component of the parent-teacher-learner triad in preschool aquatics and explore compatibility of instructor messages with current drowning prevention beliefs, 133 preschool aquatics instructors were surveyed. Instructors with basic swim teacher accreditation and those with a preschool/infant instructor extension (“Extension”) were compared. More Extension instructors selected “safety” as an important outcome (χ2 = 7.907, df = 3, p = 0.048). Both instructor groups considered parental education important but Extension instructors held this view more strongly. Disturbingly, more Extension instructors disagreed that increased toddler confidence following lessons necessitates greater supervision around water (χ2 = 4.141, df = 1, p = 0.042). To avoid such messages, instructor education should place even greater emphasis on close and constant adult supervision and counter the misconception that early age lessons protect children from drowning.

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