Stay Alert For Signs of Dry Drowning This Summer

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Family Physicians in Trinity

Stay Alert For Signs of Dry Drowning This Summer

Though dry drowning – also known as secondary drowning – is hardly a new issue, it has been receiving an unusual amount of attention in the media recently. A heartbreaking number of children have lost their lives to dry drowning just in the summer of 2017 alone, leading parents across the country to learn exactly what dry drowning is and how it can be prevented. Here is everything you should know to keep your children safe this summer.

The Definition of Dry Drowning

Dry drowning is a condition similar to drowning, but it occurs on land when the body’s lungs struggle to extract oxygen from the air. Though dry drowning has many different causes, it becomes more prevalent in the summer when children spend more time swimming. If a child accidentally inhales pool or ocean water through the nose or mouth, it could potentially trigger a spasm that closes the airway and makes breathing very difficult. In this case, dry drowning occurs soon after exiting the water. It’s also possible for the inhaled water to work its way into the lungs and cause inflammation that then makes breathing impossible. This type of dry drowning is more appropriately called secondary drowning, and it can occur up to a full day after swimming.

Staying Alert for Dry Drowning

Dry drowning is every parent’s worst nightmare, especially since it can occur with very little warning. As you enjoy time at the beach or pool with your family this summer, you can ensure that dry drowning doesn't pose a risk to your children by remaining alert for certain warning signs. Persistent coughing, rapid and shallow breathing, very sudden sleepiness, and vomiting are all signs of potential dry drowning caused by the body’s efforts to survive on less and less oxygen.

If your child demonstrates any of these signs, call (727) 375-5885 to speak to your child’s physician at Family Medical Centers in Port Richey or Trinity, Florida immediately. By addressing a wide variety of medical needs with a walk-in clinic and primary care appointments, Family Medical Centers can give your child the attention necessary to recover and stay healthy.