How does the level of knowledge concerning aquatic safety change among school youth after the 'Blue Patrol' educational action

TitleHow does the level of knowledge concerning aquatic safety change among school youth after the 'Blue Patrol' educational action
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsZalewski, T, Gapski, J
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other NumbersPO-20

­At the turn of 2005 and 2006, a survey was carried out among 1131 lower secondary school students (2) on the level of knowledge concerning aquatic safety, in which the result of students without previous preparation was compared with that of students who participated in a two-hour educational action “Błękitny Patrol” (Blue Patrol). The training was held in the form of lecture and practical workshops connected with the code of conduct for water-based activities, safe use of waters, elements of self-lifesaving, and giving first aid.

The results of this survey showed that the trained youth obtained by 20% higher level of correct answers, however average knowledge level did not reach even 60%. The low level of knowledge (39.7%) in the untrained students as well as relatively low training result point at the necessity of continuous preventive actions in this area. In order to increase training efficiency, the authors undertook an attempt to determine the relevance of respective safety principles and first aid elements.

Basing on the aquatic safety principles specified in ILS requirements as well as on the self-lifesaving and first aid elements connected with them, a Relevance Scale of Safety Principles was constructed, containing 45 commonly taught principles.

The survey included 48 life-saving instructors and swimming instructors, who determined, basing on their own educational experience, a degree of relevance intensity of the principles in question on a scale of 1 to 10. Statistical analysis, allowing for the location of measures of position, determined the level of threshold value – 7.5, i.e. between the median and the lower quartile. It results from the present study that:

  1. 33 principles out of all 45 ones surpassed the threshold value and should be deemed to be important in the education process. The twelve rejected principles can be ignored in the training due to their non-relevance under Polish conditions, e.g. common lack of home swimming pools.
  2. The training programme and a questionnaire verifying the knowledge contained the contents comprised solely in the selected principles. The uniform education programme as well as the unified verification instruments allow for common monitoring on a larger scale.
  3. No statistically significant differences were found in the survey between life-saving instructors and swimming instructors, which confirms the uniform view of trainings, irrespective of professional qualifications of instructing staff.

The present stage of carried out research, connected with the application of this programme and the comparison of results obtained by the youth, allows for presenting herein what will be the efficiency of training in the aspect of the achieved knowledge level.

  1. Brunon Hołyst: Utonięcia w Polsce i na Świecie, Warszawa, 2004 (In Polish: Drowning incidences in Poland and in the World)
  2. Jarosław Gapski „Poziom wiedzy z zakresu bezpieczeństwa nad wodą wśród młodzieży gimnazjalnej.” Bukowina 2006 (In Polish: The level of knowledge concerning aquatic safety among lower secondary school students)