Table 4

Proposed prevention strategies cited in the literature addressing drowning among high-risk populations

ThemeProposed prevention strategies/examplesReference
Culturally appropriateWater safety education that incorporates cultural beliefs and practices and language (if required); that is culturally appropriate and targeted to the population. 26 33 36 37 40 62
Information basedEducation strategies in all forms of communication and is available in a range of languages. 39 51
Safe behaviour and decision makingWater safety education focusing on safer behaviour and decision making around the water; that promote accurate risk assessment and risk management. 36–38 40 42
Of parentsWater safety education for parents included with swimming lessons; to address fear of water and drowning. 43 44 48
Community engagementTo recruit target populations to participate in swimming programmes; incorporation of traditional knowledge and beliefs; establish an advisory group from the community being targeted; using a ‘cultural broker’. 25 33 37 41 53
Using cultural BrokersWater safety education of parents within the healthcare setting. 28 33
Inclusion in school curriculumWater safety education in the school curriculum mandated. 26 42 43 51
Subsidised programmeOffering free/low-cost swimming lessons, convenient locations; programmes subsidised for high-risk populations. 32 48 51
OtherInfrastructure: increase aquatic facilities in ethnic-minority communities, increased patrolled/lifeguarded locations, mandatory safety measures in place. 32 40 46
Practical strategies
Swimming lessonsSwimming lessons targeting ethnic-minority populations; for all ages; single gender swimming classes. 29 43 50
Water safety skillsEmphasis on water safety skills; targeted education campaigns focusing on water safety skills. 25 27 36 53
CPR and first aidLearning CPR. 26 29
Research themes
EvaluationEvaluation of interventions and strategies targeting high-risk groups, and best practice models. 23 24 41 48 49 52
Social determinantsResearch of the broader socioeconomic factors and circumstances among high-risk populations, cultural barriers influencing swimming participation. 29 31 44 46
DisparitiesResearch to determine why disparities exist. 30 36 44 48
Swimming skillsResearch investigating self-reported and actual swimming ability of children and adults; perceived swimming and rescue competence matches real competence in the open water; retention of swimming skills. 34 37 38 47
Targeted strategies—general
Culturally appropriate interventionsCulturally appropriate interventions (did not specify).
Targeting drowning prevention strategies towards ethnic-minority populations.
8 23 24 27 35 49
  • CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation.