Report on Drowning Age Group 1-4

Report on Drowning Age Group 1-4



Report on Drowning Age Group 1-4

Purpose of the Report

This account seeks to provide detailed information on statistics related to drowning cases among minors below the age of four years in Australia. In addition, it tackles the main factors that instigate these tragedies. The report also aims to discuss possible strategies that can reduce this state of affairs. To achieve these objectives, this text focuses on the role of registered nurses in child and adolescent health. This is because the factors triggering drowning among members of this age group may be behavioral or emotional (National Public Health Partnership, Department of Health and Aged Care and Strategic Injury Prevention Partnership, 2001). The families of the victims also need psychiatric help through this program. Likewise, some deaths resulting from drowning occur because of insufficient knowledge among the nurses. These medical personnel also lack comprehension on how to offer mental care to minors who survive this tragedy. It is for these reasons that the report seeks to discuss the weak points of the existing programs related to the issue as well as provide tactics that will improve the situation.


            Drowning has resulted in many deaths, in the state of Australia. Studies show that, in this country, it is the primary cause of unpremeditated fatalities in children between one and four years. Various factors trigger this tragedy. To start with, children with such medical disorders as epilepsy have a higher chance of drowning (Swim Australia, 2010). In addition, certain socio-economic statuses may lead to the death of these victims. For example, parents with a low intellectual background may not be aware of how to handle drowning children or prevent such occurrences. Unfenced masses of water may also cause this disaster. These areas include ponds, ditches, or irrigation channels (Williamson, Irvine, Sadural and NSW Water Safety Taskforce, 2002). These constant calamities not only affect these children, but also have a negative effect on their families both emotionally and financially. This is mainly because of the costs of treatment, as well as the risk of death following the tragedy. To avoid the large number of deaths resulting from drowning, the nurses mandated to serve infants ought to reinforce the services reacting to such urgent situations. They also need to research on evolving causes of drowning in order to formulate and implement current and appropriate medical services.


In Australia, 22 % of all the people who drown annually are between the ages of one and four. This portion forms 26 % of children who die annually (New South Wales, 2012). The most common areas where this tragedy occurs are in non-tidal lakes, ponds, oceans, and surfing seashores. Private swimming pools, bathtubs, and pails are also risky sites in terms of infant drowning. Some of these cases occur because of the lack of adult supervision while some children drown through actions of child abuse. According to surveys conducted in various regions of Australia, some adults leave children in these water bodies with bad intentions. For example, 10 % of the cases occurring in buckets are a consequence of infant mistreatment. Moreover, 26 % of these accidents occur in private swimming pools. On the other hand, 39% of these tragedies happen along the county’s seashore (New South Wales, 2012). These disasters can lead to various health complications. For instance, 20 % of the infants who survive such accidents suffer from permanent neurological disorders (New South Wales, 2012).


Drowning among children between the ages of one and four is the leading cause of death in Australia. The high cost of treatment increases the number of deaths resulting from this calamity. It is for these reasons that the issue needs addressing urgently and comprehensively. The only way to acquire substantial accomplishments on the matter is to identify the magnitude of the situation and the key factors leading to this calamity. This comprehension will aid in formulating and implementing strategies that will reduce the number of children drowning in water masses. More than a quarter of the children between one and four years that die annually in Australia drown. This number represents 22 % of the drowning cases in the country. This alarming statistics require effective tactics that will change the current state of affairs. Various factors instigate this tragedy among children (Hendrie, University of Western Australia and Western Australia, 2004).

To start with, infants with certain health disorders have a higher risk of drowning. For example, kids who suffer from epilepsy may easily drown in oceans, bathtubs, or surfing beaches. This is because such individuals can experience convulsions at any place and time. In addition, children with heart diseases may have a high possibility of drowning. This is because of the constant seizures experienced by these individuals. Lack of barriers around the water bodies may also result in such accidents. Researches indicate that barriers around private swimming pools can prevent accidental drowning among kids by 83 % (Hendrie, University of Western Australia and Western Australia, 2004). Some of the victims acquire severe injuries or die after falling in uncovered ditches or irrigation channels. Likewise, some flood-prone regions of Australia do not have concrete overflow control embankments. In addition, a substantial number of these cases happen because of lack of adult supervision. This neglect may be accidental or deliberate.

For instance, the negligible academic background of a parent may cause drowning. The adult may not be aware of signs of a drowning individual. In addition, he or she may not know how to handle the victim. For this reason, the victim may suffer from permanent neurological impairment or death. Such accidents greatly affect the families of these individuals. This is because some have to live with disabilities in their central nervous system (CNS) (Australian Water Safety Council, University of New South Wales and Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, 2000). Being too young to nurture themselves, the victims become more dependent on their close relatives. Additionally, the high cost of treatment also drains the family’s finances (University of Western Australia, Arena and Western Australia, 2002). Where the victim dies, the parents and other close relatives may suffer from medical disorders like depression, hypertension, or heart diseases. For these reasons, medical practitioners need to offer appropriate care to the survivors as well as their family members. This will help in averting other tragedies within the family unit.


Various strategies can significantly reduce the number of drowning cases among children of this age group. To start with, parents should build barriers around private swimming pools. They should also cover other water masses such as wells, irrigation channels, and ditches (Surf Life Saving Australia, 2007). Parents must also place all buckets upside down to prevent cases of bucket drowning. Policies should also be in place as a way of guiding waterways constructions. The relevant authorities need to ensure that all water bodies have stable covers. They should also conduct frequent educative forums with the main objective of enlightening the general population on possible causes of drowning. They should also inform them on the appropriate manner of handling such victims.


Drowning among children below four years is an issue that the government, in collaboration with the public, ought to deal with urgently. Various factors can result in such accidents. This includes lack of parental supervision, access to water bodies, and health disorders. Because of the severe consequences of the tragedy, the families of these victims undergo traumatizing periods, both financially and emotionally. They have to either live with disabled children or accept the death of their loved ones. Although most of the cases are accidental, several aspects can reduce the occurrence of these tragedies. The government and the general populace should take responsibility by devising and putting into practice strategies that will reduce the cases of drowning among children. All water bodies should have a barrier around or above them.


Australian Water Safety Council., University of New South Wales., & Royal Life Saving Society – Australia. (2000). Analysis of drowning in Australia and pilot analysis of near-drowning in New South Wales. Sydney: Australian Water Safety Council and the University of New South Wales.

Hendrie, D., University of Western Australia., & Western Australia. (2004). Injury in Western Australia: The costs of accidental drowning and near drowning in Western Australia. East Perth, W.A: Injury Prevention Branch, Dept. of Health.

National Public Health Partnership (Australia), Australia. Department of Health and Aged Care., & Strategic Injury Prevention Partnership (Australia). (2001). National injury prevention plan priorities for 2001 -2003 and the implementation plan: Falls in older people, falls in children, drowning and near drowning, poisoning among children. Woden, ACT: Department of Health and Aged Care.

New South Wales. (2012). Child deaths: Drowning deaths in private swimming pools in NSW. Sydney, N.S.W: Motor Accidents Authority of NSW.

Surf Life Saving Australia. (2007). National coastal safety report: Preventing coastal drownings in Australia. Bondi Beach, N.S.W: Surf Life Saving Australia.

Swim Australia. (2010). Swim safer: Drowning can be prevented –how to keep your child safer in, on and around water. Bellbowrie, Qld.: Swim Australia.

University of Western Australia., Arena, G., & Western Australia. (2002). Drowning in Western Australia: A review of best practice, stakeholder activity, legislation, and recommendations. East Perth, W.A: Injury Prevention Unit, Population Health Division, Dept. of Health.

Williamson, A. M., Irvine, P., Sadural, S., & NSW Water Safety Taskforce. (2002). Analysis of drownings involving children aged five years and under in NSW. Concord West, N.S.W: NSW Water Safety Task Force.

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