PW 1949 Safety perceptions and practices fhow beach users can be best reached with safety messages and intervention

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Abstract

Introduction

Drowning is a leading cause of death, disabilities, property lose and mental trauma in the world. There was an estimate that drowning claims 300 000 worldwide deaths and considering an epidemic in the world. Drowning has been described has a hidden epidemic in Bangladesh. It was estimated that almost 14 000 children drown every year in the country.

Objectives

To investigate children’s risk behaviors, those are constraints of water safety in most drowning prone division.

Methods

This study included children, parents and other caregivers. We conducted 26 IDI, 8 FGD and observed children’s activities next to water bodies in 6 households of three sub districts of Barisal division during September to November 2016. Collected data transcribed and coded into NVIVO-11 software and thematic analysis took place for analyzing the qualitative data.

Results

Participants hinted that drowning vulnerability were related to age (small children), skills (Unable to swim), culture and physical capacity. The study clearly indicated that people accepted drowning deaths as fate. The results demonstrated that children have regular interactions with water for leisure (playing), self-care (bathing and washing) and household upkeeps. Though children had regular interactions with water, most of them did not know swimming and they were unattended by any adults during contacts with water bodies. It is also revealed that challenges of child supervision, water proximity, lack of fencing around water bodies and limited awareness on drowning prevention are the supportive factors for child drowning in coastal areas.

Discussion and conclusion

Children supervision in specific time, teaching survival swimming skills and awareness at community level will prevent risk taking behaviors among children in drowning prone areas.

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