Summer's here, which means it's pool season!
We've got 5 swim safety tips here, and safety tips for pool owners here, but today, we're going to discuss a swim safety topic everyone should be aware of:
In dry drowning, someone takes in a small amount of water through his or her nose and/or mouth, and it causes a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up. Dry drowning is often lumped with secondary drowning, where a little bit of water gets into the lungs and causes inflammation or swelling that makes it difficult or impossible for the body to transfer oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa. Safety experts consider both situations to be on the spectrum of drowning.
Dry drowning usually happens soon after exiting the water, but with secondary drowning, there can be a delay of up to 24 hours before the person shows signs of distress. Both can cause trouble breathing and, in worst-case scenarios, death. Unlike the typical type of drowning where a person is in the water and having some sort of immediate response, dry and secondary drowning are delayed and outside of the water, which makes them much more dangerous.
So it's very important to know the signs of dry and secondary drowning:
- Water rescue: If you had to pull your child out of the pool, you should call your pediatrician and possibly have them examined.
- Coughing or Rapid/Distressed Breathing
- Sleepiness, which could be a sign of oxygen deprivation.
- Forgetfulness or change in behavior.
- Throwing up: either an isolated incident or the result of persistent coughing.
Thankfully, dry drowning is a relatively rare phenomenon, making up just 1-2% of all reported drowning incidents. However, because it's so easy to miss, it's especially important to know the signs.
Swim safely this summer!
Source: Parents, Dry Drowning | CNN, Dry drowning suspected in Texas toddler's death