Dry drowning or secondary drowning are terms used to describe what happens when a kid is rescued from drowning and he seems to be fine but hours later he gets into a serious trouble. As a matter of fact, though dry drowning and secondary drowning are used interchangeably, but they are not the same.
In dry drowning, the amount of water inhaled causes a spasm in the airway leading to its close up and it happens soon after getting out of the water. In secondary drowning, the inhaled water causes swelling and inflammation in the lungs, and it happens later taking many hours before the person shows its signs.
A 10- year old boy from South Carolina dies an hour or more after returning home from a day at the swimming pool. This is very scary, and fortunately experts say it rarely happens. This drowning is defined “dry” because it takes place out of water. There are warning signs if your child inhales and swallows water, and they include consistent coughing, distressful breathing and vomiting.
In case this happens, it is highly recommended to have further observation in a medical facility because dry drowning is sneaky and it can happen up to 24 h after the incident in the water, and it may occur while the kid is napping.
Taking the appropriate measures are the key to prevent dry drowning. First, children from the age of 4 years should take swim lessons. Also, parents should know CPR, and proper fencing around the pools is an essential safeguard.
In case of being on a boat, all on board should wear a life jacket. A very important piece of advice is to have an adult with your kid all the times.