What the 2016/2017 National Drowning Report tells us
19 September 2017
Living in Australia, where almost everyone lives close to or has
easy access to our waterways, it's essential we teach our kids
about water safety now that the South Australian school holidays
are just around the corner.
It is vital that we empower our water babies by increasing their
swimming and water safety skills. Plus, they can have fun while we
get our own peace of mind.
Tragically, the recorded number of drowning deaths have
increased according to Royal
Life Saving's National Drowning Report 2016/2017.
Below is a brief summary of the report to keep you informed with
the last 12 months of fatal drownings:
- A total of 291 people drowned in Australian waterways; an
increase of 9 deaths (3%) from 2015/2016. Of them, 15 (5%) were
from South Australia.
- Of those who drowned, 29 (10%) were children aged 0-4 and 12
(4%) were aged 5-14.
- Royal Life Saving estimate there were 685 non-fatal drowning
incidents resulting in hospitalisation.
- In the last year, both beach and ocean/harbour drowning
incidents in SA (5 deaths) have almost doubled against the 10-year
average (3 deaths).
- Swimming and recreating was the most common activity prior to
drowning in inland waterways (27 deaths), accounting for 28%) of
all deaths recorded this year.
- The annual cost of fatal drownings in Australia is $1.22
The Drowning Report included a section on incidents among
children, with these numbers reinforcing how important it is for
our kids to learn and practise water safety, confidence and
competence in the water.
- A total of 29 children aged 0-4 drowned in the last year and
this number has increased by 4% against the 10-year average. More
than half (52%) were girls.
- There were 12 children aged 5-14 who drowned in the last year.
Most of them (75%) were boys.
- Swimming pool drowning deaths in children under five have
decreased by 13% against the 10-year average, but swimming pools
still remain to be the leading location for drowning among children
aged 0-4, accounting for almost half (45%) of all the deaths.
- Rivers, creeks and streams were the most common location for
drownings to occur among children aged 5-14, with 4 deaths (33%)
- A 75% increase was recorded in the number of children under
five drowning in bathtubs and spa baths.
It is evident too many people are drowning across Australia each
year, and if you are passionate about reducing these figures with
us, we recommend making sure your kids are comfortable and
confident with their swimming and/or surf lifesaving skills, as
well as water safety knowledge. Start them early by enrolling in a
summer swimming program like VACSWIM at beach and pool
locations near you.