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March Continues Downward Drowning Trend

11 April 2006

March Continues Downward Drowning Trend

Water Safety New Zealand (WSNZ) has credited New Zealanders and the various water safety activities around the country for the low monthly drowning toll for March. A total of five drowning deaths were recorded by DrownBase®, the world's only fully integrated drowning database.

With the summer months well and truly wrapped up comparison with previous years drowning toll for the year to date suggests that 2006 is on track to continue the low drowning trend of recent years. As at 31 March 2005 there were 44 drowning fatalities in New Zealand compared with this years 27, or approximately a 40% reduction from the previous year.

WSNZ Project Manager Matt Claridge suggests "that the specific nature of water safety resources which are beginning to saturate the marketplace and having what appears to be a positive impact on recreational drownings."

"There is a tendency for communities in New Zealand to take ownership of water safety issues and across the country this is being reflected in less drowning deaths."

WSNZ still reminds adults of the need for supervision. This is most important when small children are concerned. Another infant drowned in a bath last month, further highlighting the ever present requirement for hand contact to be maintained at all times with children in and around water, especially whilst bathing.

Claridge continues "WSNZ and Plunket are combining to develop a bath time resource for parents. Information will be distributed via the trusted Plunket network. WSNZ and Plunket are working to educate parents of the vital need for supervision around water, as small children should not be left to make decisions regarding their safety that they are incapable of making."

ENDS

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