Drownings, almost always due to carelessness and carelessness of parents and children, are the second cause of mortality in children and young people, although they could be avoided in 80% of cases, according to the coordinator of the Accident Prevention and Injury Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, Dr. Jordi Pou.

As you explained, the highest percentage of drowning occurs in private pools that, in many cases, lack the necessary conditions to guarantee the safety of the smallest.

Pou laments especially that there is no fence around the pool, which would prevent children from accessing the water when there was no adult present; and it is estimated that more than 60 percent of private pools do not have an appropriate fence.

Nor are there enough lifeguards watching this type of facilities, so a child can fall into the water without anyone noticing; thus, in 88% of the incidents, the parents or adults responsible for the child's safety acknowledged that they had been distracted.

Therefore, the Injury Prevention Committee has advised that children be taught to swim as soon as possible; that control over minors be extreme when they are near swimming pools or other places where there is a risk of drowning; that children use floats even if they are not bathing, and install protective fences that prevent the child from accessing the premises without the company of adults.

Dr. Pou notes that adopting these measures could prevent both drowning deaths, as well as neurological sequelae who run the risk of presenting many children who have been about to drown but eventually survive.

Other risky practices, such as slipping down slides and running or jumping to the edge of the pool, also cause a significant number of drownings in the case of older children and adolescents even if they know how to swim. The latter also integrate the main risk group when it comes to drownings at sea, especially those related to alcohol consumption.


The practice of new sports, especially aquatics, is also related to the increase in injuries in children

The practice of new sports, especially aquatics, is also related to the increase in injuries among children. Drive jet skis, to practice windsurfing, or use canoes, tires or other inflatable devices and even Diving, cause serious injuries, including drowning, and major musculoskeletal or spinal injuries.

To protect minors in these situations, Pou recommends that you do not allow the practice of certain sports until the age of 16 or 18, and that, in any case, flotation elements are used and basic safety rules are followed, always supervised by adults.

Lesions, in general, are the main cause of infant mortality in Europe from the first year of life, above other causes such as cancer or respiratory diseases. These injuries are also responsible for serious sequelae, since a quarter of children and adolescents who are admitted due to an accident will suffer serious sequelae in the central nervous system, such as alterations in their psychomotor development, musculoskeletal or skin problems, psychological traumas, or neurological disorders as a result of spinal cord injuries.


Solving Maternal and Infant Mortality in Africa (November 2019).