Rainwater tank drowning

J Forensic Leg Med. 2008 Nov;15(8):533-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2008.05.003. Epub 2008 Aug 9.


Drowning remains a significant cause of accidental death in young children. The site of drowning varies among communities and is influenced by cultural and geographic factors, including the availability of particular water sources. The drowning deaths of a twin two-year-old brother and sister in a rainwater tank are reported to demonstrate specific issues that may arise. Ladders, vegetation and trellises may provide access to tanks and should be removed. Secure child-proof access points should also be installed, particularly on in-ground tanks (given the ready accessibility of the latter). As there has been a recent trend in Australia to install more domestic rainwater tanks, the number of childhood rainwater tank drownings and near-drownings will need to be monitored by forensic pathologists and child death review committees to ensure that this has not led to the introduction of a new hazard into the home environment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / mortality*
  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Australia
  • Cause of Death
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diseases in Twins / epidemiology
  • Diseases in Twins / mortality
  • Drowning / epidemiology
  • Drowning / mortality*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine*
  • Fresh Water*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male