What is dry drowning and what are the symptoms?

What is dry drowning and what are the symptoms?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Dry drowning is on the minds of parents after a father saved his 2-year-old's son's life in Texas. He said he wouldn't have known what to do if a story about a 4-year-old dying from the rare condition wasn't shared on the news.

So, what is dry drowning?

There are two types of this phenomena -- dry drowning and secondary drowning, according to the Cleveland Clinic. They can both happen with any amount of water whether it's the pool, the tub or getting dunked in water.

The problem with both is that water gets into the lungs.

Here's the difference between the two, though.

What is dry drowning?

With dry downing, the body realizes water was getting into the lung so it starts to close the larynx, or vocal cords, which will makes it harder to breath. It can take a while for the larynx to relax and the child's labored breathing can go on for quite a while, which means the body is being deprived of oxygen. Oxygen deprivation can eventually lead to death.

What is secondary drowning?

With secondary drowning the problem is water that was ingested stays and sits in the lungs which is also known as pulmonary edema. With the water sitting there it can be an hour later you'll hear a crackling with each breath as the child struggles more and more to breathe.

The Clinic advises if your child is ever involved in a near drowning situation, or ingests a significant amount of water, you should take them to an emergency room to get checked out.

What are the symptoms of dry drowning?

If your child displays any of these symptoms after swimming. take them to the hospital immediately. While swimming watch your child to see if they have inhaled water, then coughed and spluttered but seemed to be all right.

  • Persistent coughing the day after swimming.
  • Labored breathing that causes the nostrils to flare - the sides of the nose move with every breath.
  • The skin between the ribs and collar bone sink in as the child takes each breath.
  • Grunting with each breath.
  • Sleepiness, or lack of energy.
  • Stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea.
  • Chest pain.
  • Fever.

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