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Paediatr Child Health. 2002 Nov;7(9):637-41.

Childhood drowning in Manitoba: A 10-year review of provincial Paediatric Death Review Committee data.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary;



Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for Canadian children up to 19 years of age. Specific regional drowning prevention strategies require a detailed understanding of patterns of injury, including risk factors. Paediatric death review committees have the opportunity to identify these risk factors, and to identify and advocate prevention strategies.


The purpose of the present study was to analyze Manitoba Paediatric Death Review Committee (PDRC) drowning data to identify drowning risk factors and potential prevention strategies.


A 10-year (1988-1997) review of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba PDRC database was performed. Drowning deaths were summarized in terms of demographic variables and lack of supervision at the time of the drowning events.


Seventy-three drowning deaths were reviewed by the PDRC during the study period. These children ranged from 29 days to 14 years of age. They included 50 boys and 30 First Nations children. The highest mortality rates were found in First Nations children (12.4/100,000 First Nations children compared with 1.9/100,000 non-First Nations children), boys (3.9/100,000 boys compared with 1.9/100,000 girls) and toddlers aged one to four years (5.9/100,000 children).


Priority populations for drowning prevention in Manitoba include First Nations children, boys and toddlers. Death review committees can contribute to childhood injury prevention by reviewing injury deaths, analyzing and reporting injury mortality data, and identifying and advocating prevention strategies.


Children; Drowning; First Nations; Injury prevention; Manitoba; Mortality review

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