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Health Promot Pract. 2012 Nov;13(6):835-41. doi: 10.1177/1524839911399428. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Teaching safety at a summer camp: evaluation of a water safety curriculum in an urban community setting.

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  • 1Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Austin, TX, USA.



The purpose of this project was to evaluate a water safety curriculum in a low-income, minority-focused, urban youth summer camp. The curriculum is available to Safe Kids Coalitions across the country; however, it has not previously been evaluated.


Participants were pre-K to third-grade students (n = 166). Children watched a video and received the curriculum in a classroom setting. Each child was given a pre-, post-, and 3-week retention exam to assess knowledge change. Mean test scores and number of safety rules participants could list were analyzed using paired Student's t tests. Parents were given a baseline survey at the beginning (n = 140) and end of the weeklong curriculum (n = 118).


The participants were 50% male, 27.5% Hispanic, 68.7% African American, and 3.8% biracial. Children were divided into three groups: pre-K/kindergarten, first and second grade, and third grade. Children in each of the groups received higher knowledge scores at the posttest (p = .0097, p < .0001, and p < .0001, respectively), with little decline in scores at the 3-week retention exam. Similar results were seen for the ability to list safety rules, though the number fell slightly between the posttest and retention test.


The study demonstrates that children possessed more knowledge of water safety after receiving this curriculum. This knowledge increase was maintained through the 3-week retention exam. Further evaluation of the curriculum's content and its impact on water safety beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are needed, as well as evaluation of additional settings, risk areas, and the role of parental involvement.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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