Dry Drowning

A quick Summer Safety Tip from Nola the Nurse

swim pic

Dry drowning? What’s that? How can these two words make sense when coupled together?

Dry drowning is a condition in which the lungs never fill with water as you might expect. What happens is, once water is breathed in after your child swims in a pool, lake or bayou, the vocal cords spasm and close. This shuts off all air to the lungs, making breathing very difficult.

Can this happen to anyone? Yes, but mainly children because of their small stature.

When does this occur? Immediately after they leave the pool or swimming area.

Symptoms: Coughing, Chest Pain, Lethargy, Trouble breathing, Irritability, Low energy levels

Actions to take: Immediately get medical help from your local nurse practitioner, PA, or MD. A trip to the ER maybe necessary if symptoms don’t get better.

Is this preventable? Yes. Make sure there is always a lifeguard near your child when they are in the water. Don’t let them swim alone. Last, make sure they start early swim lessons.

Always remember, any water source, no matter how shallow, is a potential hazard for the little ones.

Resources:

http://www.emedicinehealth.com/drowning/page3_em.htm

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