Public pools have the least drowning risk, while backyard pools and boating have the highest risk for children under 5 and males aged 15 to 44, respectively.
Those are just a few of the findings from a 10-year study recently released by the Canadian Red Cross. Titled ?Drownings and other water-related injuries in Canada,? the study reveals that 27 percent of pool drownings occurred in public settings, whether at municipal pools, hotels or apartments. Using data from coroners? reports from 1991 to 2000, researchers identified drowning risk factors across Canada, and which prevention programs were the most effective.
?One of the nice things in Canada is that all the coroners? offices work from the same forms ? enabling us to collect data in a uniform way,? said Michele Mercier, national manager of swimming and water safety programs at the Canadian Red Cross in Montreal. With the compiled coroners? reports, the Red Cross was able to note trends over a 10-year period, rather than rely on a fluke from a single year.
The study examines risk factors age, gender, alcohol use and swimming ability in regard to different activities such as boating, type of swimming pool, open-water, bathtubs and cold-water immersion.
It found that 25 percent of water-related deaths were from aquatic activities, compared with 39 percent from boating accidents and 23 percent from falling into water without intention of swimming. The study also breaks down swimming ability by age and whether the individuals were accompanied by someone else.
Mercier said other nations, such as Iceland and Norway, are interested in the results.
The data is transferable to the USA, she said. ?Lack of parental supervision will more likely lead to a child drowning or near-drowning. [Lifeguard] training programs are pretty similar. There are definitely some trends.?