In 2014, blogger Lindsay Kujawa, described her son came frighteningly close to secondary drowning. Ronin, her son, was playing by the pool at a birthday party, and suddenly he slipped into the water for maybe 20 seconds. He was shaken up, but he seemed fine.
But later that night, he was taken in the hospital just in time. His oxygen levels fall, because of the fluid in his lungs. Ronin recovered, but his mother Lindsay said that she was forever changed since this happened to her son.
You probably haven’t heard of dry and secondary drowning that can happen out of water. They can happen to adults, but are more common in children. Each year, an average of 3,868 Americans drown. That’s about 10 people at day.
Accidental drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional deaths among children at ages 1 to 4. Although the thought of child drowning is not something anyone wants to think about it is important to be properly informed. If you know what to do in a case of drowning you can help save a life!
Here are 4 facts you need to know about dry and secondary drowning:
1. Both, dry and secondary drowning occur out of water!
Dry drowning occurs when water irritates the upper airway causing laryngospasm (spasm of the vocal cords) and restricting flow of air into the lungs. This triggers a shock reflex called neurogenic pulmonary edema. After this the lungs begin to fill with body fluid. Oxygen is depleted, carbon dioxide builds up, the shock reflex strengthens and a deadly spiral ensues.
Delayed drowning or secondary drowning occurs when water gets into the lungs in small amounts that are not enough to disable breathing right away. The water sits there and inhibits the lungs ability to oxygenate blood and the person starts to have more and more trouble breathing over the course of several hours.
2. Pay attention how your child responds after a water accident
When secondary drowning occurs the child may not show signs of distress for hours. Even if the accident may not look especially dramatic (a child slips under water for a few seconds), parents must pay attention to how their children responds after. Symptoms can occur from 1 hour to a day later.
3. Take your child to the emergency room for these reasons:
- Coughing: If your child has persistent coughing after playing in the water is at risk for water in their lungs. To be sure that everything is fine just take your child in the ER for evaluation.
- Amnesia: If the person has amnesia or has limited memory of an accident that happened in water needs immediate medical care.
- Vomiting: Vomiting after swimming can be due to infections disease because bacteria in the water, but also can be a sign of dry drowning.
- Change in behavior: After a day at the pool if your child is sleepy or feels sick or have changes in behavior you need to take him to the ER.
4. Symptoms of secondary and dry drowning
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling extremely tired
5. If are well informed parents can do a lot
Parents play huge role in preventing all types of drowning. Water safety is the most important thing. First of all parents must provide constant supervision when children are near water. Let your child swim only in areas that have lifeguards and never let him swim alone.
Children under the age of 5 can be more vulnerable, because even if they know how to swim they can become panicked if they swallow water.