When children are playing in the water, safety is the number one priority for parents. They keep a close eye on them, ensure that there’s a professional lifeguard on scene, and make sure their children have a partner with them at all times when they’re in the water. All of these precautions are made to prevent drowning. But do parents know what to do if their child suffers from dry drowning or secondary drowning?

Stories such as this are definitely concerning for all parents. Dry drowning and Secondary drowning are rare complications that happen after someone gets out of the water. The signs are subtle, but the results of each can be fatal.

Dry drowning occurs when water is inhaled and causes the vocal chords to spasm and close. This results in the airway to shut and causes the victim to have trouble breathing. Secondary drowning is caused by water getting into the lungs. This causes the lining of the lungs to be irritated and fluid build up called pulmonary edema.

Dry Drowning & Secondary Drowning Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Chest Pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Extreme fatigue

If your child is exhibiting these symptoms consistently even after they get out of the water, it’s best to visit a hospital and consult a doctor.

Dry Drowning & Secondary Drowning Prevention

The best way to prevent your child from suffering from dry drowning and secondary drowning is to monitor them when they’re in the water. Performing safety precautions like ensuring that they are swimming within designated areas, ensuring that a professional lifeguard is present, and having a swim partner with them at all times can help prevent your child from drowning or dry drowning. If an incident does happen in the water, keep a close eye on their condition for up to 48 hours. If your child presents some of the symptoms listed above, it’s best to take them to a hospital.

Enrolling your child in water safety or swim lessons is a great way of preventing drowning situations. Also, if you have a pool at home, it’s best to have it safely fenced or covered, insuring young children can’t get in without supervision.

Thousands of drowning accidents happen each year in North America. Keep water safety a priority for you and your child.

Comments or questions? Don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below!