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Public consultation on drowning

10 January 2005

Public consultation on drowning and falls prevention

ACC Minister Ruth Dyson is encouraging people to make submissions on two draft strategies released today to prevent drowning and falls.

Ms Dyson said both falls and drowning were largely preventable, and could place a terrible toll on individuals, families and communities.

“The drowning prevention strategy is about ensuring that people can continue to have fun in the water, and stay safe while doing so.

“On average, 130 people drown in New Zealand every year and about 650 people are hospitalised as a result of water-related injuries. The strategy’s main focus is to reduce death and injury due to drowning, and thereby enhance water safety.”

Ruth Dyson said falls were particularly common in children and older adults, but affected all age groups.

“Falls are the leading cause of hospitalisation from injury, and one of the top three causes of injury-related deaths in New Zealand. There has been a rapid increase in falls prevention activity over recent years, and the strategy will help guide and coordinate the efforts of central and local government, non-government and community organisations. The only thing we want to see falling is the injury rate.”

Ms Dyson urged those with an interest in drowning and falls prevention to have their say about the draft strategies.

“We expect to receive submissions from a number of groups and individuals, including sports and leisure bodies, general practitioners and other health professionals, parents and caregivers, communities, schools and members of the public.”

To make a submission on the Drowning Prevention Strategy: Towards a Water Safe New Zealand 2005-2015 and/or Preventing Injury from Falls: The National Strategy 2005 – 2015, contact 0800 THINKSAFE (0800 844 657) or visit www.nzips.govt.nz. Submissions close on 18 February 2005.

ENDS

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