A qualitative examination of causal factors and parent/caregiver experiences of non-fatal drowning-related hospitalisations of children aged 0–16 years

Awan, Boshra, Wicks, Suzanne, and Peden, Amy E. (2022) A qualitative examination of causal factors and parent/caregiver experiences of non-fatal drowning-related hospitalisations of children aged 0–16 years. PLoS ONE, 17 (11). e0276374.

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Fatal and non-fatal drowning is a significant public health issue, which disproportionately impacts children and young people. In Australia, the highest fatal and non-fatal drowning rates occur in children under five years of age. To date, little qualitative research has been conducted on non-fatal drowning, with causal factor analysis generally conducted using coronial and hospital data. This study’s aim was to identify causal factors in hospital treated cases of non-fatal drowning in children as qualitatively self-reported by parents and caregivers. Cases of unintentional child (0–16 years) non-fatal drowning admissions and Emergency Department presentations to three tertiary care paediatric hospitals in New South Wales, Australia were identified via International Classification of Diseases (ICD) coding. Parents and caregivers of drowning patients were invited to participate in a semi-structured interview. Data were thematically coded using an inductive approach, with a focus on causal factors and recommendations for preventive approaches. Of 169 incidents, 86 parents/caregivers were interviewed. Children hospitalised for drowning were more often male (59.3%), aged 0–4 years (79.1%) and 30.2% were from household who spoke a language other than English. Qualitative incident descriptions were coded to five themes: lapse of supervision, unintended access (commonly in home swimming pools), brief immersion (usually young children bathing), falls into water and ongoing impacts. Drowning prevention recommendations were grouped under supervision, pool barriers and maintenance, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training and emergency response, drowning is quick and silent, and learning swimming. Parents and caregivers of young children require ongoing education regarding supervision distractions and pool barrier compliance. Additional challenges are faced by those in rental properties with pools, parents/caregivers who cannot swim, and parents/caregivers from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Affordable, accessible, and culturally appropriate swimming lessons, water safety education and CPR training should be made more available for adult caregivers, particularly in languages other than English.

Item ID: 77601
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2022 Awan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: NHMRC APP2009306
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 05:31
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420604 Injury prevention @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200408 Injury prevention and control @ 100%
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