Elderly Australians at highest risk of drowning


A recent study by Pool Advisor has uncovered concerning trends regarding drowning deaths in Australia, with elderly Australians aged 65 and over identified as the most vulnerable group.

An analysis of 272 drowning deaths in Australia sheds light on the significant risk faced by the elderly, with a startling statistic revealing that they are 50% more likely to die from drowning compared to any other age group, at a rate of 1.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

Contrastingly, while drownings account for only 2% of all injury deaths across the population, a staggering 36% of all injury deaths occur in children aged 0-4. This underscores the importance of vigilance and safety measures, especially for young children.

The study also delves into the impact of various factors on drowning incidents. It revealed that males are over four times more likely than females to succumb to drowning, constituting 80.1% of all drowning deaths. Additionally, geographical location plays a significant role, with Australians residing outside major cities being twice as likely to die from drowning.

Furthermore, socio-economic status emerges as a contributing factor, with individuals in the lowest socio-economic quintile being 150% more likely to die from drowning compared to those in the top quintile.

While drowning hospitalisations have decreased slowly over the past decade, the study emphasises the need for continued vigilance, particularly concerning swimming pool safety and compliance.

Pool Advisor founder Louis Fredheim stresses the importance of ongoing efforts to prevent drowning incidents, especially involving children.

“On a population basis, drowning deaths and hospitalisations have declined slowly over the last decade or so, which is good to see. However, we need to remain vigilant, particularly with swimming pool safety and compliance,” Fredheim said.

This study serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of water safety awareness and underscores the need for targeted interventions to protect vulnerable populations from the risks associated with drowning.

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