Domestic swimming pool accidents to pre-school children

N Z Med J. 1983 Sep 28;96(740):725-7.


The frequency of accidents in domestic swimming pools was studied retrospectively for a sample of 1123 Christchurch children. During the period from birth to five years, a total of 94 such accidents were reported. While most were trivial and readily rectified by rapid adult intervention, we found six children who clearly might have drowned in a domestic swimming pool but for adult vigilance and a certain amount of luck. These findings underline the fact that current mortality statistics merely reflect the minority of such incidents in which either parental vigilance or luck does not operate. Children with pools on their own or neighbouring properties were two and a half times more likely to be involved in accidents involving domestic pools. We reiterate our plea for the introduction of a uniform and well enforced set of domestic swimming pool safety regulations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home* / prevention & control
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • New Zealand
  • Swimming Pools*