On a hot summer day, nothing sounds better than jumping into a cool pool, lake, river or sea. However, if you have children who are 14 years old or under, time at or in the water can cause some anxiety or fear. We have all heard about different cases of a child drowning on the news or social media. It's a scary thing, but we can help prevent it.
Laryngeal spasm, or spasm of the vocal cords, occurs when water enters the airways. In most drowning cases, the spasm relaxes and water enters the lungs. This is called wet drowning . In a much lower number of drowning cases, the spasm does not relax and no water enters. This is known as dry drowning .
Dry drowning occurs when the vocal cords become irritated enough from ingesting water through the nose or mouth that they cramp and close. According to Dr. Amy Groen, DO, of UnityPoint Health in Iowa, says “Dry drying is not an actual medical condition. It is a term that has been used and sensationally by the media to describe when the lungs of drowning victims do not contain water. The reason for this is because the body strongly closes the airways. This can happen when water tries to enter the lungs. "
But have you heard of secondary drowning ? I had not before I researched for this article!
Dry drying and secondary drowning are non-medical terms used to refer to delayed symptoms experienced after immersion in water. "These terms (medically known as immersion injuries) are often used interchangeably – even by some experts – but they are actually different conditions," says Mark R. Zonfrillo, CEO of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
According to this article on Parents.com, in secondary drowning, some water enters the lungs and causes inflammation or swelling that makes it difficult or impossible for the body to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa. Dry drowning usually occurs shortly after leaving the water, but with secondary drowning there can be a delay of up to 24 hours before the person shows signs of distress.
Immersions are rare, but if you will spend time in the pool, lake, river or sea, it is smart to be aware of the warning signs and symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Repeated cough
- Chest pain  Vomiting
- Sudden fatigue or decreased energy level
How can you prevent any kind of drowning?
- Give your child swimming lessons.
- Enforce water safety by monitoring at all times.
- Encourage the use of flotation devices
Swimming is a major summer activity and it is important to be aware of your child's behavior, both during and after being in the water. Stay smart and diligent with this knowledge to prevent all types of drowning so that you and your children can have a safe and pleasant summer!
Sources: https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=1c6da070 -2e13-4bac-bcf0-ea452a71a77c & Dispelling + Myths + about + Dry + Drowning
https: // www .parents.com / kids / safety / outdoor / dry-drowning /
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