World Drowning Prevention Day 2023
Anyone can drown, no one should.
On July 25th, the World Health Organization (WHO) commemorates World Drowning Prevention Day, focusing on the importance of addressing drowning as a global public health concern. The day aims to remind people that while anyone can drown, it is preventable, and everyone should be protected from this silent epidemic.
The current drowning report reveals that 84 people in Queensland, Australia, lost their lives due to drowning last year. The majority of these incidents involved adults aged 18-75, with 77% being male. Most drownings occurred in rivers, creeks, lakes, dams, or swimming pools.
WHO emphasizes six cost-effective, evidence-based interventions to reduce drowning risks:
- Installing barriers controlling access to water;
- Providing safe areas for pre-school children away from water with capable childcare;
- Teaching basic swimming and water safety to school-age children;
- Training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation;
- Setting and enforcing safe boating regulations including personal flotation device use; and
- Building resilience and managing flood risks.
The slogan “Anyone can drown, no one should” underlines the campaign’s message, highlighting the importance of drowning prevention efforts worldwide. Although the majority of drownings occur in low- and middle-income countries, high-income countries also face drowning risks, especially among certain age and ethnic groups. WHO aims to unite political actors, civil society, academia, and fundraisers to address this preventable issue.
To honour those who have lost their lives to drowning and raise awareness, landmarks across Australia will be illuminated in deep blue on July 25th, symbolizing the global commitment to prevent drowning.
WHO encourages everyone to participate actively in World Drowning Prevention Day by making personal commitments to ensure the safety of themselves, family, and friends around water.
In conclusion, World Drowning Prevention Day serves as a crucial reminder that drowning is preventable, and concerted efforts and interventions can save countless lives.
Doing our bit to help.