Drowning fatalities of children in Tasmania: differences from national data

Aust N Z J Public Health. 1996 Oct;20(5):547-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842x.1996.tb01638.x.


All drownings of people under 15 years of age in Tasmania from 1981 to 1993 were identified from the Tasmanian coroner's case files. Age- and sex-specific mortality rates were calculated and found to be similar to Australian drowning mortality rates. An exception was the lower drowning rate for Tasmanian females aged 0 to 4 years. Only 9 per cent of drowning deaths were caused by immersion in a swimming pool, 32 per cent of deaths occurred in dams and ponds and 21 per cent occurred in a river. Most drownings (88 per cent) associated with dams, ponds, swimming pools and baths were in the 0-to-4-year age group. Compared with Australia as a whole, toddlers drowning in swimming pools is uncommon in Tasmania; however, there are relatively more drownings in dams and ponds. Strategies for the prevention of drowning in childhood in Tasmania should consider the hazards associated with rural living.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drowning / epidemiology
  • Drowning / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Rural Population
  • Sex Factors
  • Tasmania / epidemiology