The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Western Sydney has been provided with funding from the NSW Ministry for Police and the Emergency Services Water Safety Black Spots Fund to undertake a drowning death and near drowning study among children 0-16 years.
This study will involve interviews with the families to gain further detail on the circumstances surrounding the drowning death or near drowning incident. All private swimming pool related incidents will include a follow up inspection of the swimming pool and the fencing (if applicable) which will give the hospital further information on the types of pools children are drowning in and the compliance of the fencing (if any).
This data will be valuable to add to the evidence base for portable swimming pool related incidents as there is a lack of data in this area.
The study will also have the opportunity to evaluate the new legislation that the NSW Government introduced, which includes commencement of local council inspection programs from October 2013 and mandatory compliance certificates at point of sale or lease of a property from April 2014, and how this relates to the drowning death and near drowning incidents that occur in pools.
The study will commence with The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Sydney Children’s Hospital and John Hunter Children’s Hospital with scope to include other trauma services in NSW. The hospital is currently awaiting ethics approval for the study and hopes to commence data collection from September 2013.