The age group at highest risk worldwide for drowning is children younger than five, WHO reported in November 2014.

Drowning Kills 372,000 Annually Worldwide, WHO Reports

The report says those younger than 5 are at the greatest risk. More than half of all drowning deaths are people younger than 25.

The World Health Organization released a report Nov. 17 about the global death toll due to drowning -- 372,000 people die each year from drowning, with those younger than 5 at the greatest risk. This was WHO's first such report. "Global Report on Drowning: Preventing a Leading Killer" shows that drowning is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in every region.

The report's findings include:

  • Globally, more than half of all drowning deaths are people younger than 25, and the highest rates for drowning are among children under 5 years of age.
  • Males are twice as likely to drown as females.
  • More than 90 percent of drownings occur in low- and middle-income countries, with the highest rates in African, Southeast Asia, and the Western Pacific region.

The report calls increasing efforts and resources to prevent drownings and outlines several actions to be taken by both national policy-makers and local communities.

"Drowning is a needless loss of life. Action must be taken by national and local governments to put in place the simple preventive measures articulated by WHO," said Dr, Margaret Chan, WHO's director-general. "Efforts to reduce child mortality have brought remarkable gains in recent decades, but they have also revealed otherwise hidden childhood killers. Drowning is one. This is a needless loss of life. Action must be taken by national and local governments to put in place the simple preventive measures articulated by WHO."

The recommended strategies for local communities include installing barriers to control access to water; providing safe places such as day care centers for children; teaching children basic swimming skills; and training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation. At the national level, interventions include adoption of improved boating, shipping, and ferry regulations; better flood risk management; and comprehensive water safety policies.

WHO noted that, according to a number of studies from high-income countries, deaths due to drowning may be considerably underestimated. Official data do not include drownings from suicide, homicide, flood disasters, or incidents such as ferry capsizes. "I believe that you can't manage what you don't measure – and there's never been a comprehensive effort to measure drowning around the world until now," said Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies, which funded the report. "The more evidence we can gather, the better we'll be able to tailor our prevention efforts – and the global report on drowning is a big step in the right direction."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's mobile app allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior on the go, with or without an internet connection. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • The 4 Stages of an Incident Investigation

    So, your workplace has just experienced an incident resulting in the injury or illness of a worker. Now what? OSHA recommends that you conduct investigations of workplace incidents using a four-step system.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

Free Whitepaper

Stand Your Ground: A Guide to Slip Resistance in Industrial Safety Footwear

This white paper helps to clarify this complexity, so you can better navigate the standards and better ensure the safety of your employees.

Download Now →

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2019

    October 2019

    Featuring:

    • WINTER HAZARDS
      Preparing for Old Man Winter's Arrival
    • CONSTRUCTION
      Staying Safe in the Trenches
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Setting a Higher Standard: The Limitations of Regulatory Limits
    • ELECTRICAL SAFETY
      Five Important Things to Know About Arc Flash PPE Programs
    View This Issue