National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA) Assembles Experts Across Disciplines to Address the Critical Issue of Childhood Drowning.
SAN DIEGO, September 15, 2022 – On September 13-14, 2022 the National Drowning Prevention Alliance hosted the industry’s first research summit solely dedicated to water safety and drowning prevention for children and adolescents – a critical issue and the single leading cause of death among children ages 1-4 years old.
The National Childhood Drowning Prevention Research Summit was held in San Diego, California and brought together more than 45 researchers and experts from across the country and internationally who have dedicated their careers to the safety and well-being of children.
Hosted by NDPA and moderated by Doyle Strategies, which has led similar summits on child and gun safety, the group included professionals from the governmental, academic, medical, public health and private sectors, including representatives from American Academy Pediatrics, American Red Cross, YMCA, Harvard University, Baylor University, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and other leading organizations and advocates.
“The body of data available for drowning prevention has been historically weak leaving us to use best practices instead of evidence-informed approaches,” said Adam Katchmarchi, Ph.D., M.S., Executive Director, NDPA. “Our goal is to change that and bring all stakeholders together to collaborate on a unified research agenda.”
During the two-day meeting, summit participants discussed the research gaps in the literature surrounding childhood drowning prevention and water safety and prioritized a short- and long-term research agenda based on need and feasibility, while fostering unity among the industry sectors represented.
“It was incredible to see all of the national leaders in child drowning prevention gathered in one room, working together to address this epidemic,” said Ben Hoffman, M.D., Chief Medical Advisor, NDPA and Professor of Pediatrics, Oregon Health & Science University. “There is so much we do not know about how to prevent drowning, and the issue has never received the attention warranted by the magnitude of the problem. It was amazing to see how the group really dug in and did the hard work to ask the right questions and identify the key issues and potential solutions. This was a crucial first step in the process
of preventing drowning among kids.”
With focused discussions on the existing data and science, and actionable work needed to define future research directions and priorities to advance policy and prevention efforts, the summit program included a networking session and a review of research currently underway at CDC. Small, collaborative, interprofessional groups also assessed research needs around four of the established preventive layers of protection – barriers, supervision, water competency, and life jackets.
“I think a better understanding of all of the circumstances around drowning in every environment is going to be critical in order to develop, implement and evaluate drowning prevention strategies,” said Lois Lee, M.D., M.P.H., Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Harvard Medical School. “
Following the summit, an evidence review and preliminary conclusions will be compiled and shared with both research and non-research-related qualified stakeholders to weigh in on the results and outcomes.
Post event stakeholder engagement will be conducted via focus groups, interviews, and survey with the goal of gaining insight into areas of consensus and disagreement on proposed research priorities. An overall research summit summary report, in addition to summary reports on identified themes, will be released by NDPA among stakeholder groups.
The Drowning Prevention Research Summit was made possible through the generous funding of the Chuck & Ernestina Kreutzkamp Foundation.
About National Drowning Prevention Alliance (NDPA)
The mission of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance is “United, we can prevent the tragedy of drowning.” Through education, awareness, and advocacy, NDPA seeks to reduce the incidence of drowning and aquatic injuries in the United States and abroad and to address the single leading cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. To learn more, visit ndpa.org.