Sink or Swim – The State of Victorian Primary School Childrens Swimming Ability

A knowledge of swimming and water safety can reduce a child’s drowning risk and provide them with skills that may one day save a life. In addition, swimming and water safety skills have demonstrated benefits on child health in terms of social, psychological and physical well-being. Recent trends indicate an increase in drowning in children between 5 and 14 years of age in Victoria. This, alongside suggestions that Victorian school children are missing out on engaging in swimming and water safety education, leads us to ask what our children are learning and what their abilities in the water are. The current study therefore aimed to determine the swimming ability and water safety knowledge of Victorian children exiting primary school, measured against state and national standards, and estimated by parents and teachers.



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Life Saving Victoria