Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Over 45’s underestimate drowning risk


Ahead of the long weekend Water Safety New Zealand is warning New Zealanders aged over 45 that they have a distorted perception of the risk they face from drowning.

Three years of surveying people around risk perception has revealed the 65+ age group perceive those aged 15 to 24 to be at the greatest risk, while only 1% of respondents thought it was their own age group. The reality is in 2018 the 65+ age group had the highest number of preventable* drowning fatalities with 17 (12 male and five female) and also the highest number over the last three years (41 fatalities over 2016,17,18)

Those aged 45 – 54 years also perceived 15 – 24 year olds to be at the greatest risk of drowning, while only 2% identified their own age group. The reality is this age group had the second highest amount of preventable fatalities with 11 (Six male and five female) and also the second highest over the last three years (40 fatalities over 2016,17,18)

WSNZ CEO Jonty Mills says this research shows a disconnect between perception and reality when it comes to drowning risk. “People are staying active longer but we see it time and time again when it comes to drowning fatalities that people over estimate their ability and under estimate the risk” says Mills.

A closer look at the 17 fatalities for the 65+ shows 11 of them were accidental immersions. “The number of immersion incidents shows how careful people need to be around any body of water, and especially if you have health or mobility issues” says Mills.

The data also shows that while swimming is a popular low impact exercise for older people, it comes with risk with five preventable fatalities from this activity. Five of the 65+ fatalities also occured in home pools. “From a drowning prevention perspective we would advise people never to swim alone or to use a supervised facility, where you have help if something goes wrong” says Mills.

Baths and spa pools all feature in the fatalities for this age group and four of them involved alcohol. “Avoid alcohol when you’re in or near the water and always make sure you have help nearby should you need it.”

For activities in the 45 - 54 year old age group that led to preventable fatalities in 2018 six were immersion incidents, two were land based fishing, one was kayaking, one free diving and one swimming.

Jonty Mills says this shows the broad nature of this country’s drowning problem. “New Zealanders love recreating in, on and around water but too many people are losing their lives. We want people to make smarter decisions so they come home to their families at the end of the day.”

WSNZ hopes this research will serve as a wake up call for older generations of New Zealanders. “I hope they will take a closer look at the importance they place on water safety, and recognise the risks when taking part in water based recreation” says CEO Jonty Mills.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Ellen Rykers on The Dig: Community Conservation – The Solution To The Biodiversity Crisis?

There are backyard trapping networks doing their bit for Predator Free 2050, farmers planting native trees along their waterways, and iwi protecting whenua rāhui. There are 62 biodiversity sanctuaries across 56,000 hectares, with around two-thirds of them community-led. There are citizen scientists counting birds in their backyards and landowners conserving habitat in 3,500 Queen Elizabeth II National Trust covenants.

It’s increasingly clear that a government agency alone cannot combat the biodiversity crisis successfully. These grass-roots initiatives are a growing resource in the conservation toolbox. More>>

Closing This Weekend! Have Your Say On The Issues For NZ's New Biodiversity Strategy

Scoop and PEP invite you to help decide how we should protect and restore our biodiversity over the next 50 years using Scoop’s online engagement platform, HiveMind. HAVE YOUR SAY HERE>>

 

PM In Japan: Jacinda Ardern’s Remarks Following Abe Summit

Today we discussed a wide range of topics. Broadly the themes were: a deeper, high-value trade and investment relationship, greater cooperation in the Pacific; and strengthening our security partnership. More>>

ALSO:

Replacing All But Chair: Twyford Appoints Five NZTA Board Members

Transport Minister Phil Twyford today announced the appointment of five new members to the NZ Transport Agency Board... There remain two vacancies on the NZTA Board which will be filled in due course. More>>

ALSO:

Climate Change: Adaptation And Risk Assessment Framework Released

“We are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate such as coastal inundation and increasingly frequent and severe droughts, floods, fires and storms. This framework is an acknowledgement that we must start adapting”, James Shaw said today. More>>

ALSO:

Ihumātao: Mana Whenua Reach Decision On Land

Māori King Tūheitia says mana whenua have finally reached consensus over what to do with Ihumātao - they want it back. More>>

ALSO:

PM To Japan, New York: Ardern To Meet Trump During UN Trip

“I’m looking forward to discussing a wide range of international and regional issues with President Trump, including our cooperation in the Pacific and the trade relationship between our countries." More>>

PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels