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Drowning is a 'serious and neglected' public health threat.

THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION (WHO) HAS identified drowning as one of 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in a report into its global prevalence.

Children under five are 'disproportionately' at risk of drowning, with males twice as likely to die by drowning than females.

The process of drowning is difficult to reverse once it has begun, and survival is dependent on two main factors--namely how quickly the casualty is removed from the water, and the speed at which resuscitation is received.

It is therefore vital to ensure prevention of drowning by making sure both children and parents are aware of the risks associated with water, and how to aid those that get into difficulty.

The report recommends public awareness should be directed at specific risk factors, such as ensuring adult supervision of young children or reducing exposure to water hazards.

WHO describe drowning as a 'serious and neglected public health threat' in the report with 'no broad prevention efforts' in place to protect those at risk.

According to statistics from the National Water Safety Forum, there were 335 deaths from drowning in the UK in 2013, 46 of which were of those aged under 19. The majority of accidents in this age group occurred on rivers and coastal areas. Swimming pools, baths and jacuzzis were also responsible for child deaths.

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Publication:Community Practitioner
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 1, 2015
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