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Section 1 - Background

The aim of this report is to help inform the work of water safety professionals in Wales to prevent future deaths of children and young people from water-related fatalities. 

The death of a child or young person has devastating and life changing impacts on families and the wider community. Drowning is the second most common cause of non-intentional injury fatalities in children under 18 years of age in Wales, after transport related fatalities.1

The Child Death Review Programme, Water Safety Wales and RoSPA noted five deaths of children under 18 years of age from drowning in 2022. This was higher than in previous years, which led to them working in partnership to produce this report.

The Child Death Review programme published the Thematic review of deaths of children and young people through drowning in 2016 and made a series of recommendations.

Good progress has been made towards many of the recommendations including the establishment of an all-Wales forum for water safety.

An existing Water Safety group expanded into Water Safety Wales which consists of around 40 organisations.

Water Safety Wales developed the Wales Drowning Prevention Strategy (2020-2026) and there are numerous examples of drowning prevention and water safety activities aimed at children and young people in Wales (Link to WSW list of activities for CYP).