Evaluation on the health education program regarding prevention of non-fatal drowning amongschool-aged children in Lianping county, Guangdong province
Objective To evaluate the outcome of health education program on drowning prevention among primary and secondary school children in rural areas. Methods A township was selected and all the students from grade 3 to 5, grade 7 to 8, and grade 10 to 11 were selected to take part in the program. Twelve intervention measures on natural water safety and drowning prevention were carried out for one year. Information was collected using the same questionnaire before and after the intervention program. Results One year after the intervention was carried out, children's knowledge on drowning prevention improved significantly (13.21, 95% CI: 12.51-13.90) , and a positive effect was also noticed among boys (12.77, 95%CI: 11.77-13.77), girls (13.80, 95%CI: 12.82-14.78),and among primary school children (15.51,95%CI: 14.30-16.72), senior high school children (10.78,95%CI: 9.50-12.05) and junior high school children (12.77,95%CI: 11.84-13.71). Overall rates on risk behaviors dropped from 41.4% to 32.2% (by 22.2%) including 15.6% for boys, 35.2% for girls and 13.8%, 29.3%, 26.3% for primary school children, senior high school children, junior high school children, respectively. The incidence rates for non-fatal drowning decreased by 58.9% (from 5.6% to 2.3%). The person-times for treatment on sight, in emergency settings, in outpatient clinic or in the hospitals had a reduction from 399, 78, 36 to 175, 32, 14, respectively. Conclusion Health education program could improve children's perception on water safety, and reduce their risk behaviors as well as on the incidence of non-fatal drowning in the rural areas.