Where children and adolescents drown in Queensland: a population-based study

Wallis, Belinda A., Watt, Kerrianne, Franklin, Richard C., Nixon, James W. and Kimble, Roy M. (2015) Where children and adolescents drown in Queensland: a population-based study. BMJ Open, 5 11: . doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008959

Author Wallis, Belinda A.
Watt, Kerrianne
Franklin, Richard C.
Nixon, James W.
Kimble, Roy M.
Title Where children and adolescents drown in Queensland: a population-based study
Journal name BMJ Open   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2044-6055
Publication date 2015-11-26
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-008959
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue 11
Total pages 11
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ Group
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective This retrospective population-based study examined drowning location by the site of immersion for both fatal and non-fatal drowning events in Queensland. Drowning location is not routinely collected, and this study used data linkage to identify drowning sites. The resulting enhanced quality data quantify drowning incidence for specific locations by geographic region, age group and by severity for the first time.

Design Linked data were accessed from the continuum of care (prehospital, emergency, hospital admission and death data) on fatal and non-fatal drowning episodes in children aged 0–19 years in Queensland for the years 2002–2008 inclusive.

Results Drowning locations ranked in order of overall incidence were pools, inland water, coastal water, baths and other man-made water hazards. Swimming pools produced the highest incidence rates (7.31/100 000) for overall drowning events and were more often privately owned pools and in affluent neighbourhoods. Toddlers 0–4 years were most at risk around pools (23.94/100 000), and static water bodies such as dams and buckets—the fatality ratios were highest at these 2 locations for this age group. Children 5–14 years incurred the lowest incidence rates regardless of drowning location. Adolescents 15–19 years were more frequently involved in a drowning incident on the coast shoreline, followed by inland dynamic water bodies.

Conclusions Linked data have resulted in the most comprehensive data collection on drowning location and severity to date for children in the state of Queensland. Most mortality and morbidity could have been prevented by improving water safety through engaged supervision around pools and bath time, and a heightened awareness of buckets and man-made water hazards around the farm home for young children. These data provide a different approach to inform prevention strategies.
Keyword Accidents involving children
Immersion accidents
United States
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Child Health Research Centre Publications
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