Child drowning cases – dramatic drop over two decades

The leading cause of death in Thai children, below the age of 15, is drowning.

“Even though the cases have recently fallen to an all time low, it’s still not low enough.”

“In nearly two decades there have been 22,700 drowning cases, that’s between the years 2000 and 2018. That averages nearly 1,300 child drownings every year.”

These numbers from a new report by the National Institute for Child and Family Development.

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At the peak more than 50% of child deaths were due to drowning, with road accidents 25% and falling from heights 8%.

For children, most drownings occurred when parents let their children out of their sight or sneaked out to play in the water without knowing how to swim. But National Institute for Child and Family Development’s director Dr. Adisak Plitponkarnpim says the numbers have been dropping in the past 18 years as awareness about child drownings has improved along with Thai childrens’ swimming lessons and skills.

“The number of drowning deaths has nearly halved in the past 10 years. But drowning still remains the number one killer of our children,” said Dr. Adisak.

He said it was heartening that many schools were now introducing swimming lessons as part of the curriculum.

Dr Adisak said his association has set a target lowering the number of child drownings in Thailand to less than 250 a year by 2022.

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