The health crisis indirectly caused the number of drownings in France to drop this summer. This is what we learn from the latest report from Public Health France (SPF), based on data from emergency visits between June 1 and August 4, 2020. Over this period, 596 passages were counted, a decrease of 22 % compared to 2018 (811) and 2019 (723) averages.
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According to the national agency, the factors of this decrease are multiple. The closure until June 22 of public pools, private paying (municipal, leisure centers, amusement parks) or collective use (hotels, vacation homes, campsites, etc.) has reduced swimming and the risk of drowning . Restrictive access conditions to certain beaches, linked to the coronavirus, also contributed to this decline.
Drop in tourism, drop in drownings
According to Santé Publique France, " in July, the drop in tourist visits to certain regions, in particular by foreign tourists, also had an impact on swimming ". All the regions benefit from these good figures, except Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Corsica, Hauts-de-France and Pays de la Loire. And, " to a lesser extent ", New Aquitaine and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, adds SPF.
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The climatic conditions, in terms of temperature, sunshine or rainfall, were also " less favorable in June and early July 2020 compared to the same periods in 2018 and 2019, despite an episode of high heat at the end of June 2020 ". The hypothesis will however remain " to be confirmed " due to the high temperatures in France since August 6.
Young people most affected
Note also, from June 1 to August 4, 2020, nearly half (47%) of emergency visits for drowning in France concerned children under 6 years old. 12% of them were on people 65 years and over. “ This age distribution remains broadly similar to that observed in 2018 and 2019 over the same period, ” says Santé Publique France.
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Young people aged 0 to 5 were the most affected by drowning in 2020. Data Organization of the coordinated surveillance of emergencies (OSCOUR), Public Health France
The agency does not fail to point out that this report does not count the victims of the most serious drownings, those whose condition required a transfer to intensive care on arrival at the hospital and those who died at the drowning site.