Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning Explained
Photo: Hand-Crafted by Seen+Noted/Getty Images
Photo: Hand-Crafted by Seen+Noted/Getty Images

These tips will help parents recognize the signs of dry and secondary drowning

Every summer, stories of dry drowning reappear in the news. This phenomenon occurs when a small amount of water gets into a person’s throat, which causes a spasm in the airway and closes it up.

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Dry drowning is not to be confused with secondary drowning, in which a bit of water gets into the lungs. This leads to inflammation and swelling, making it hard for the person to breathe.

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Signs of secondary drowning can take as long as 24 hours after swimming to appear.

Symptoms of both conditions include:

  • Persistent coughing
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Forgetfulness or a change in behavior
  • Sleepiness
  • Vomiting

To help prevent dry and secondary drowning, parents should always keep their children within arm’s reach while swimming.

Orange swimming floaties.
Photo: Hand-Crafted by Seen+Noted/Getty Images
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