“The study shows that the number of drowning accidents has been decreasing steadily over the last few decades, which is gratifying. But the fact that as many as 13 percent of all kids aged 10 to 15 can’t swim is a worrying number,“ said insurance expert Björn Sporrong of Trygg Hansa in a statement, adding that kids within this age-group often go swimming with their friends without adults accompanying them.
Almost 25 percent of parents also state that their children haven’t attended swimming school.
The most common reason seems to be that the parents think it isn’t necessary, followed by the reasoning that the children get swimming classes for free in school.
But not everyone is happy about the amount of swimming classes offered through Swedish school.
“It should be obligatory through school for them to learn how to swim, but it doesn’t seem to be, despite the rules,” said one parent to Sveriges Television (SVT).
The survey also showed that 27 percent of Swedish parents are worried that something will happen to their kids at the beach, compared to 9 percent who are worried for their safety at a public swimming pool.
According to the results almost one in four parents have had to save theirs or someone else’s child from the water.
“This high number shows that there is a great need of life-saving skills required, not just for parents, but for everyone,” said Sporrong.
The survey shows that the number of kids who can’t swim is highest in Stockholm and in the northern parts of central Sweden, where 19 percent of parents said their kids couldn’t swim.
Compared to northern Sweden and the southern counties of Skåne, Halland and Blekinge where the figure is 11 percent.
“If nothing is done about the level of swimming proficiency among kids in Sweden we can expect more drowning accidents in the future,” said Sporrong to SVT.
The study was based on a survey of 1,002 Swedish parents between 18 and 65 and carried out by market research company Yougov.