Dry drowning isn’t something that only families with pools need to be worried about. Water is a serious safety hazard for kids that can lead to disastrous and fatal outcomes at the drop of a hat. Here are some things that all parents need to know and keep in mind.
Facts about dry drowning
The risks don’t stop when you leave the pool
Drowning might sound like an oxymoron, but it’s an all-too-real phenomenon. Despite the fact that it’s a widely discussed topic, drowning is still a rare occurrence, but it can happen to anyone and knowing the signs can mean the difference between life and death.
Dry drowning happens when somebody becomes ill or dies to their symptoms several hours after being submerged underwater and inhaling through their mouth or nose. This isn’t like the typical scenario most of us know. When someone has a submerged incident, there’s a spasm of the vocal cords that causes them to shut, and they struggle to breathe against those closed cords. This causes negative pressure that leads to inflammation and a fluid buildup in the lungs.
How does dry drowning lead to death?
When the water accumulates in the lungs, it causes breathing issues that worsen over time. People that inhaled water that doesn’t get medical treatment (where they open up the airway to eliminate the fluid) can die. Essentially, any foreign object that gets into the lungs can cause irritation and impact breathing, regardless of whether it’s a peanut or some pool water.
Noticing the symptoms of dry drowning
One of the most important things for parents is to go with what their gut tells them. You know your kid best, and if they don’t seem like themselves, something might be wrong. Symptoms of dry drowning include a persistent cough that wasn’t there before and gasping for breath. Other signs include trouble breathing, sudden lethargy, and exhaustion that seems out of the ordinary. You might also want to get them to an ER in the case where they seem mentally confused or have blue lips or fingers.
What to do in the event spotting a case of dry drowning
It’s important to get your kid to the ER as soon as possible. It’s much easier to deal with respiratory distress in the emergency room. It’s not safe to “wait it out” and see if the condition improves at home. At the very worst, you’ll have spent a few hours at the ER where doctors observed your kid. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.