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The Symptoms of Dry Drowning

                       Dry Drowning Symptoms

Summertime means fun for many kids – and fun often involves swimming.

All parents and caregivers understand the importance of water safety, but sometimes dangers lurk when you are unaware.

One of those dangers is dry drowning.  Although most cases involve young children and are rare, it is important for you to know the symptoms of dry drowning and what you can do to prevent it.

These types of drownings occur when your child accidentally breathes water into his or her lungs.  At times it can occur when there is a struggle while swimming but it can also happen when one gets water in his mouth or one is dunked into the water.

Technically there are two dangers:  (1) Dry Drowning and (2) Secondary Drowning – each different and both equally deadly.

In dry drowning situations, water does not reach the lungs — instead, when your child accidentally breathes in water, your child’s vocal cords spasm and close up after the child has left the pool or water.  That shuts off the airways and makes it very difficult to breathe.

In secondary drownings, the child’s airways open up and allows water into his or her lungs.  The water then builds up and causes a condition called pulmonary edema which results in trouble breathing.

Dry drowning symptoms are present right after any particular incident in the water.  Secondary drowning start later, within 1-24 of the incident.

Both dry drowning and secondary drowning have the same symptoms:  Coughing, chest pain, trouble breathing, vomiting, and feeling tired, all showing signs that the brain is not getting enough oxygen.

If you notice any of these symptoms, keep a close eye on your child.  You may want to contact your pediatrician.  Depending on the severity of the symptoms and how long they last, you may want to take them to the doctor or the emergency room.

As parents we want to keep our children safe 100% of the time, but that simply is not possible.  But there are things you can do.

Follow water safety guidelines – always watch closely when your child is in or around water, never let your child swim alone, and if there is an incident where the child swallows water, watch them closely.

Do not let your guard down – drowning can occur in any type of water – pools, lakes, ponds, bathtubs, and even small plastic pools.

Be safe.



If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Legal Team at de la Riva & Associates.