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Winter Prep for Summer Safety: Drowning prevention

World Drowning Prevention Day takes place on July 25th. Drowning is a worldwide issue, with an estimated 236,000 deaths due to drowning in 2019.

During the cooler winter months of Makuru, summer activities like swimming and boating may not be top of mind. However, it can be an ideal time to prepare for summer safety and take effective steps to reduce drowning incidents when the warmer weather arrives.

On World Drowning Prevention Day, support Royal Life Saving to take action and prevent drowning.

Between 2021-22, 339 people drowned in Australian waterways and in WA between 2022-23 there were 31 drowning deaths. Living and working in regional areas has an impact on people’s access to swimming and water safety information, as well as emergency care in the event of an accident, all of which put regional communities at greater risk of drowning. In Western Australia between 2021-22, people in regional WA were 2.5 times more likely to be involved in a drowning incident than those in the Perth metropolitan area.

In 2021/22 toddlers had the highest incidence of drowning and males continued to be at greater risk with 72% of hospitalisations related to drowning. In recent years, as people live more active and healthy lifestyle, statistics show a steady increase in the number and rate of older adults drowning. The Australian Water Safety Strategy 2030 identifies children aged 0-4 years, young males aged 15-29 years, and older adults aged 65 and over as priority areas for drowning prevention work

Key risk factors for drowning include the environment, access to water safety programs and swimming ability, adult supervision and alcohol use. Effective interventions that address these risk factors include educating the community of key safety behaviours through water safety campaigns and pool fencing legislation that require installation, maintenance and use of fencing to remove children’s access to pools.

Discover organisations and programs in Western Australia that promote safe behavior around aquatic environments and educate communities on identifying risk factors for drowning.

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