Can child drowning be eradicated? A compelling case for continued investment in prevention

Peden, Amy, Franklin, Richard, and Clemens, Tessa (2021) Can child drowning be eradicated? A compelling case for continued investment in prevention. Acta Paediatrica, 110 (7). pp. 2126-2133.

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Aim: To explore temporal trends in fatal child drowning and benchmark progress across three high‐income countries to provide prevention and future investment recommendations.

Methods: A total population analysis of unintentional fatal drownings among 0‐ to 19‐year‐olds in Australia, Canada and New Zealand from 2005 to 2014 was undertaken. Univariate and chi‐square analyses were conducted, age‐ and sex‐specific crude rates calculated and linear trends explored.

Results: A total of 1454 children drowned. Rates ranged from 0.92 (Canada) to 1.35 (New Zealand) per 100 000. Linear trends of crude drowning rates show both Australia (y = −0.041) and Canada (y = −0.048) reduced, with New Zealand (y = 0.005) reporting a slight rise, driven by increased drowning among females aged 15‐19 years (+200.4%). Reductions of 48.8% in Australia, 51.1% in Canada and 30.4% in New Zealand were seen in drowning rates of 0‐ to 4‐year‐olds. First Nations children drowned in significantly higher proportions in New Zealand (X2 = 31.7; P < .001).

Conclusion: Continual investment in drowning prevention, particularly among 0‐ to 4‐year‐olds, is contributing to a reduction in drowning deaths; however, greater attention is needed on adolescents (particularly females) and First Nation's children. Lessons can be learned from each country's approach; however, further investment and evolution of prevention strategies will be needed to fully eradicate child drowning deaths.

Item ID: 64980
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1651-2227
Keywords: adolescent; child drowning; injury prevention; policy
Copyright Information: © 2020 Foundation Acta Pædiatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: Royal Surf Lifesaving Society Australia, Drowning Prevention Research Centre, Canada
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2020 03:05
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4202 Epidemiology > 420210 Social epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920409 Injury Control @ 100%
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