Sat, Dec 30, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Nation tops world list of child drownings, DOH says

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A report conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) shows that the rate of drownings for children under 14 in Taiwan is the highest in the world.

The report, which was conducted by the Children's Health Promotion Committee under the health deparment, collected and analyzed data from 21 Asian and OECD countries.

According to the report, Taiwan topped the list with 1.8 deaths per 100,000 children, followed by South Korea with 1.2 per 100,000.

Meanwhile, motor vehicle accidents are also a major killer of Taiwanese children, with the child death rate in traffic accidents reaching 2.7 per 100,000, the third-highest on the list.

South Korea topped the list in this category with 4.2 deaths per 100,000 children, followed by Portugal with 3.5 per 100,000.

Lin Hsiou-chuan (林秀娟), a professor of pediatrics at National Cheng Kung University's College of Medicine and chief executive of the committee, claimed that Taiwan's high child drowning rate is due to its geographic environment.

Taiwan is surrounded by sea, with many of its rivers steep and fast, which makes for a higher drowning rate during the summer months, said Lin.

Lin added that although the government has imposed stricter regulations on motorcyclists without helmets and drunk driving, there is still considerable room for improvement.

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