Drowning in numbers

© UNICEF/BANA2006-00276/Wasif - Children climbing trees, scaling branches by water bodies, such as ponds, rivers, often fall into the water, and face drowning, and near-drowning, situations.


New research finds that drowning is a leading cause of death for children after infancy (1-17 years) in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China (Beijing and Jiangxi Province), Thailand and Viet Nam.
Surveys counted child deaths directly at households within communities, instead of depending on figures available from health centres and hospitals. In these countries, about one out of four children who die after infancy die due to drowning.
The research also breaks ground in identifying successful prevention programmes. Whilst the total number of drowning deaths is more than the number who die from measles, polio, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria and tuberculosis combined, the report discusses prevention methods that are more than 80 percent effective, and cost efficient.

Download the report



Documents

Press release

Key messages

  • Child Drowning in LMICs in Asia: Key data, messages and recommendations

Video gallery

The Girl From Amsora - Trailer

Child drowning: A silent killer

Drowning by numbers

Photo gallery

Children climbing trees on the water

© UNICEF/BANA2006-00278/Wasif - Children climbing trees, scaling branches by water bodies, such as ponds, rivers, often fall into the water, and face drowning, and near-drowning, situations.

Miraz, 10, picks water lilies in a pond

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2303/Mia - Miraz, 10, picks water lilies in a pond in the south-western district of Barguna in Barisal Division.. The photograph was taken by Md. Ilias Mia, 15. He is 1 of 30 adolescents who participated in the UNICEF-organized photography workshop.

Two boys from Myanmar play in the rushing waters of Sai Rung Waterfall

© UNICEF/NYHQ2006-1795/Kiewnil; - Two boys from Myanmar play in the rushing waters of Sai Rung Waterfall in the southern Phang-Nga Province. Photographer Prasit Kiewnil, a 12-year-old Muslim boy from Baan Nai Rai Village, participated in an InSIGHT Out! workshop.

A boy trips off the edge of a boat in Buriganga River

© UNICEF/BANA2006-00234/Wasif - A boy trips off the edge of a boat in Buriganga River near Sadarghat Ferry Terminal in Old Dhaka. It is common for children to drown due to unforeseen accidents.

A small child walks up a wooden plank

© UNICEF/NYHQ1993-1512/LeMoyne - In 1993 in China, a small child walks up a wooden plank to his houseboat moored in a polluted river, in Shou'xian county, Anhui province.

Boys swim and climb a tree

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2312/Uddin - Boys swim and climb a tree in a local pond in the south-western district of Barguna in Barisal Division. Their parents cannot afford to send them to school. The photograph was taken by Mohammad Jashim Uddin, 18. He is 1 of 30 adolescents who participated in a UNICEF-organized photography workshop.

A girl sitting on a palm tree washing clothes

© UNICEF/CBDA2008-00030/Noorani - A girl sitting on a palm tree, washing her clothes at a big pond in a rural village of Kampong Speu. Community Action for Social Development CASD.

Swimming kids

© UNICEF/BANA2006-00264/Wasif - As drowning, or near-drowning, is a major preventable injury of children, with support from UNICEF, a local trainer of the Centre for Injury Prevention & Research, Bangladesh in Raiganj thana under Sirajganj district is teaching children to swim

Children climbing trees

© UNICEF/BANA2006-00276/Wasif - Children climbing trees, scaling branches by water bodies, such as ponds, rivers, often fall into the water, and face drowning, and near-drowning, situations.

A boy runs across a flooded paddy field

© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-2689/Noorani - After heavy rains, a boy runs across a flooded paddy field, on Astomir Char in Chilmari, an upazila (sub-district) of the northern Kurigram District.