Statement of Purpose To assess the acceptability of a ‘Water Watcher’ safety toolkit among children’s caregivers.
Methods/Approach We conducted online and in-person semi-structured interviews of 16 adults residing in Washington State and providing supervision to a child at least 20 hours per week. Participants were presented with the ‘Water Watcher’ toolkit intervention developed by ‘No More Under’ and asked for feedback. The toolkit consists of a badge—to designate the adult(s) responsible for supervision during water activities—and a smartphone application. When activated, the application blocks incoming calls and text messages and other applications, e.g. mobile games and social media, as well as providing a button to quickly dial 911 and information for guided CPR. Interview guides were developed based on the Health Belief Model and we performed content analysis on interview transcripts using an inductive approach.
Results Participants were a mix of family members and paid caregivers. When asked about ‘Water Watcher’ tools, participants responded on perceived benefits and barriers of their use, situations in which they would use the tools, and how tools would change their behavior. Respondents generally reacted favorably towards the intervention, citing benefits of formally delegating a responsible party during group activities and elimination of distractions. Primary challenges to using the toolkit were social acceptability, competence with technology, older children’s independence.
Conclusion Caregivers recognized the importance of minimizing distractions and many liked the strategy to formally designate responsibility for child supervision during aquatic recreation. However, feedback varied on whether the badge was the ideal tool to achieve this goal. The efficacy of these tools in youth drowning prevention should be formally evaluated.
Significance Interventions such as the ‘Water Watcher’ toolkit are generally considered acceptable and expanding access to these resources could reduce the burden of unintentional drownings.
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