Strictly defined as death from suffocation because of submersion in a liquid, which is often either fresh water or seawater, drowning is a significant accidental cause of deaths and neurological death among children. Presently, it is the 20th most common cause of death all around the world; yet it is preventable…
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In Singapore, a study conducted in 2004 revealed that in a populace of 100,000 drowning occurrences among children differed from 0.88 to 1.72 during 1992-2001. On a gender basis, the male to female ratio rose from 2.7 to 11.3 in the same period indicating that more males were prone to accidental drowning in swimming pools compared to females (Vasanwala, 2004).
Quite a number of drowning deaths in children in low and middle-income countries in Asia; occur at home or within the community where drowned children are not taken to health facilities. This has made collection of data on accidental drowning challenging, as it is difficult to collect data on mortalities that occur outside health facilities and hospitals. In addition, there is the fact that it becomes futile to take a drowned child to a health facility where societal factors such as fear of legal ramifications on persons reporting deaths resultant from drowning and financial implications have also played a role. Distance from health facilities along with lack of transportation has also made it difficult for families to report such deaths. These factors have been the cause of lack of attention to accidental drowning as a major health issue (Linnan et al, 2012). Fencing off swimming pools goes hand in hand with better architectural design that aims at reducing risk exposures at swimming pool areas. Singapore being a warm and humid area implies that swimming or play activities that involve water would be more preferable for children. Considering most of these happen during school breaks where supervision may prove difficult or overwhelming, fencing off swimming pools would be more effective. For the case of water bodies, it would be advisable to build swimming pools close to them to prevent children from having to go directly to the sea. These swimming pools would feature four-sided fencing where the fences would be at a maximum distance from the pool to restrict access effectively (Rivara& Thompson, 2010). Being considered a relatively wealthy urban area, Singapore was reported to have accidental drowning occurring among 15 to 24 year olds. Notably also, these deaths were a result of falling into open bodies of water where 45% of accidental drowning were reported to be at sea. Following a general principle of injury prevention, it has been noted that passive protection proved more effective than active protection where the latter is defined as an individual being constantly vigilant and ready to act. This has been evidenced by studies that have shown that legislation mandating self-locking, self-closing gates accompanying adequate fencing in domestic swimming pools would prevent most of the accidental drowning among children. Moreover, parents and guardians need to be informed on importance of adult supervision among this age group where day-care facilities should be established as parents and guardians are bound to be overwhelmed with other responsibilities (Barss et al, 1998). It is important to note that children are less perceptive concerning risky situations; therefore, restricting access would be more effective than supervision as lifeguards, parents or guardians may look away. Additionally, Singapore being a developed country and urban area it is bound to have a number of swimming pools and
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