+ ++ Study shows Latino and black children at higher risk of swim drownings | Latina Lista

Study shows Latino and black children at higher risk of swim drownings

Study shows Latino and black children at higher risk of swim drownings

LatinaLista -- With summer fast approaching, kids everywhere look forward to swimming. Whether it's at the beach, lake or a pool, swimming provides all kids a chance to cool off and have some fun.


Yet, when it comes to actually knowing how to swim, a new study commissioned by USA Swimming shows that Latino and black children are far more likelier to not know how to swim than their Anglo counterparts.

(Photo: danieldiazfotografo.com.ar)

Diversity in Swimming Study reveals that among 2000 children and their parents surveyed:

70% of African American children and 58% of Hispanic children have low or no swim ability, compared to 40% of Caucasians, putting them at risk for drowning.

Surprisingly, it's not income level or even transportation concerns that influences these high numbers among African American and Latino children. It's something much stronger and infinitely more influential -- the mothers.

The study found mothers' fears of their children drowning was the major reason children were held back from learning how to swim.

But whoever admits to not knowing how to swim?

When researchers asked the children if they knew how to swim, 40 percent of all the children said they knew how but only 18 percent of them had ever taken classes. When the researchers pressed the children on how they learned, 28 percent of Latino children and 26 percent of African American children replied that they had taught themselves.

It's sad news since 60 percent of the children who have low or no swimming abilities told researchers they plan to spend their summers going "swimming" at least once.

"We were awestruck by the focus group participants' stories, which revealed how deeply rooted the 'fear factor' is embedded," commented Dr. Richard Irwin who led the team of researchers together with his wife, Dr. Carol Irwin.

The study underscores the need for more swimming programs that incorporate culturally sensitive approaches, along with, parental education that explains the need for children to learn how to swim from a professional instructor so they can enjoy swimming and the parents can be confident that something as senseless as drowning won't take their children's lives.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


More in Children


Looks like children’s book publishers need longer time-out to improve diversity in titles

Latina ListaFebruary 26, 2015

Are poor Latino kids the same as their poor white and black peers? Depends on the generation

Latina ListaFebruary 19, 2015

Creators behind Latino children’s summer reading program create special “DIY” reading camp to boost literacy and writing

Latina ListaJune 13, 2014

New study finds low-income Latino parents encourage obesity behaviors in their children beginning in infancy

Latina ListaMarch 17, 2014

Video: Foster care reform includes looking at the facts and acting — not reacting

Latina ListaMarch 11, 2014

Video: Understanding the special needs of siblings of special-needs children

Latina ListaFebruary 4, 2014

Book Review: Young girl learns the value of civic involvement — to a salsa beat

Latina ListaDecember 20, 2013

Viernes Video: Filmmaker creates mini-film about the plight of migrant farmworker children

Latina ListaNovember 8, 2013

Families asked to sign pledge in debut of National Brush Day campaign

Latina ListaNovember 1, 2013