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Lukaszyk C, Mittal S, Gupta M, Das R, Ivers R, Jagnoor J. Acta Paediatr. 2019; 108(4): 731-739.


The George Institute for Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.


(Copyright © 2019, John Wiley and Sons)






AIM: Our aim was to improve our understanding of the contextual factors contributing to child drowning in rural West Bengal, India.

METHODS: This 2017 study used interviews, focus groups and observations and the participants included community leaders, household heads, parents and children aged 7-17 years from three remote villages. They included adults and children who had been directly affected by the loss of family members or friends.

RESULTS: We conducted 19 in-depth interviews, six focus groups and three informal observations in public locations where people were exposed to water. The area contained a high number of natural open areas of water, which increased the drowning risk. Participants reported that children frequently played unsupervised near potentially hazardous water, as their parents worked long hours and there was a lack of safe recreational spaces. Suggested approaches to reducing the drowning risk included parental education to improve child supervision and establishing village committees to effectively communicate the drowning risks to local government. The review study that low-cost, community-based approaches to improving child water safety need to be developed.

CONCLUSION: Drowning was clearly a complex issue in rural West Bengal, with a significant impact on children and their families. Community-based approaches are clearly needed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Children; Drowning; India; Injuries; Water safety


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