Dry Drowning: Here’s What Parents Must Observe To Prevent Death


You’ve probably thought that once your children have left the pool and toweled off, they are already safe from water accidents. However, every child who went swimming and had taken in some water is at risk for a very rare type of water suffocation called dry drowning.

Unfortunately, the condition may take away a child’s life if not treated at its early stage. That said, here’s what you must observe every time your kid goes for a dive to prevent death or any health complications.

As I mentioned above, dry drowning is a type of water suffocation. It happens when a person breathes in water into the throat that causes vocal cord spasms. The individual’s airways may then close, making it hard to breathe in and out.

Having said that, the most common symptom of dry drowning is trouble breathing, which may or may not be accompanied with coughing and chest pain. If your child complains of breathing difficulty, the best thing to do is seek medical help.


The doctors should be able to tell whether your kid’s condition is mild and will resolve on its own. Or, if he (or she) needs to undergo laboratory tests and further observation.

Apart from trouble breathing, dry drowning symptoms also include irritability and lethargy. This occurs when the brain is not getting enough oxygen. The child may also report a feeling of extreme tiredness. Which, again, results from the poor delivery of oxygen to the brain.

If you notice these symptoms on your kid, go straight to the Emergency Room. The condition is treatable if medical attention is given right away.

It is important to note, however, that even though dry drowning symptoms may occur from the moment the child leaves the pool, parents are advised to keep a close eye on the kids for 24 hours. This is crucial as another form of water suffocation may also occur, which is called secondary drowning.

Secondary drowning happens when a person inhales water into the lungs. Unlike in dry drowning where the airways shut off, the airways in secondary drowning opens up. This then allows water to accumulate in the individual’s lungs.

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