Analysis of the childhood fatal drowning situation in Bangladesh: Exploring prevention measures for low-income countries.

TitleAnalysis of the childhood fatal drowning situation in Bangladesh: Exploring prevention measures for low-income countries.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsRahman A, Mashreky SR, CSMGMSUIJSHLRSMMF
JournalInjury Prevention
Abstract

Objective: To determine the epidemiology of child drowning in order to propose possible interventions for Bangladesh and other similar low-income countries. DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting: Rural and urban communities in Bangladesh.

Subjects: About 352,000 children 0-17 years were selected from over 171,000 households, using multistage cluster sampling.

Main Outcome Measures: Incidence of fatal drowning.

Results: Drowning was the leading cause of death (28.6 per 100,000 child-years) in children aged 1-17 years. The highest incidence (86.3 per 100,000 child-years) was in children aged 1-4 years. More than two-thirds of drownings occurred in ponds and ditches. Most drownings (85%) happened in daylight. In more than one-third of cases of drowning, the child was alone. In the two-thirds of cases in which the child was accompanied, almost half were with children who were 10 years or below. Only 7% of drowned children over 4 years of age knew how to swim.

Conclusions: Drowning is a major cause of childhood mortality in Bangladesh. Creating drowning-safe homes, improving supervision of children, modifying the environment, and developing water safety skills for children and the community may be effective interventions for drowning prevention.

URLhttp://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/15/2/75