Dry & Secondary Drowning: What it is and How to Protect Your Kids This Summer

1st Jul 2016

Photo credit: squawalpine.com

Around this time of every year, parents are warned about the dangers that come with having children around pools, beaches, and lakes. The risk of children drowning in their own pool, lake, or during a family trip to the beach is very real and can be devastating. However, there are two types of drowning that more mysterious but just as lethal.

There are 2 forms of after water drowning that can affect your family that you should know about. Firstly, dry drowning occurs when your child takes in a minimal bit of water through their mouth or through their nose while in the water and a spasm occurs in their airway causing it to restrict the ability to breathe. This typically happens soon after your child has been playing in the water and can be spotted almost immediately. Secondary drowning is a step further where a small amount of water travels down to the lungs causing inflammation or swelling. Unlike dry drowning, your child can begin to show symptoms of distress up to 24 hours after the incident; which is the scary part.

Thankfully, there are signs of dry and secondary drowning that you should be paying attention to after water play.

  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden sleepiness
  • If your child was rescued from the water for any reason whatsoever; see your doctor
  • Coughing
  • Throwing up
  • Any strange behavior that seems out of the ordinary

Both situations are scary and just another thing to add onto the growing list of dangers for parents to worry about. Experts say that, while the worry is understandable and precautions should be taken, dry and secondary drowning is not very common. Even better, there are ways to prevent dry and secondary drowning. Firstly, consider swimming lessons for your little ones. Swimming lessons are really the first line of defense when it comes to safe water play. Always make sure that your children know the rules when it comes to playing in the water to prevent accidents. Lastly, never leave your children unsupervised when it comes to playing in the water. Children drown much quicker than we can even imagine and a second to check on lunch can mean a lifetime of consequences.

The summer time is about having fun and enjoying a stress-free time with your kids. Paying close attention to your children during and after water play will ensure you have a summer that is fun and safe!

By Latifah Miles, MINI+ME contributor