Globally, the highest drowning rates occur among children between one and four years of age, followed by those between five and nine years of age, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Hence, this day marks the World Day for the Prevention of Drowning, with the aim of raising awareness of this preventable issue, which has a high human, social and economic cost.
These losses are often related to routine activities such as bathing, collecting water for domestic use, traveling on water in boats and fishing, in addition to the impact of extreme weather events such as hurricanes and monsoons.
Other risk factors include leaving an infant unattended or with another child in the vicinity of water, alcohol consumption near or in the water, and certain diseases, such as epilepsy.
Last May, delegates to the 76th World Health Assembly adopted a resolution urging governments and agencies to accelerate measures for the prevention of drowning by 2029.
In the text, the Assembly calls on member states to review their national drowning situation, develop and implement related programs, and ensure policy planning across a wide range of sectors to reduce risks.
It also urges them to promote drowning prevention through community involvement, capacity building and international cooperation.