Drowning prevention: Define and then gather evidence or gather evidence to define?

Nina J. Nyitrai, Suzi Edwards, Nicholas O'Dwyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


According to the World Health Organization, drowning fatalities are a neglected public health issue ranked as the third most frequent cause of unintentional death by injury. Data used to record drowning incidents are acknowledged as inaccurate. Recommendations on drowning prevention based on these data are currently not informed by accurate, detailed and reliable evidence. Two modifications to current practice are proposed: 1) an Aquatic Incident Report needs to be developed as an extension of the current workplace incident report to prompt for information commonly not included in current drowning reports; and 2) National Water Safety Plans should be modified to include a learn-toswim program database registering the name/elements of programs taught. Worldwide implementation of these modifications is the goal. Using improved information databases will enable researchers to better identify patterns in the drowning data. Improved current data collection methods will lead to more informed recommendations on drowning prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Aquatic Research and Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019


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