According to the CDC, drowning is the second-most common cause of unintentional death in the United States. However, dry drowning is also very common and occurs when a person seems fine after being in the pool. Dry drowning manifests later and results in difficulty breathing. It is a scary problem that can turn into something even more serious when it isn’t treated.

It’s important to know the symptoms of dry drowning to prevent more people from becoming victims.

What is Dry Drowning?

Dry drowning happens when a person has taken water in through the nose or mouth and that water enters the airway. Eventually, this causes the airways to a spasm and close, leading to inflammation of the lungs and cutting off the oxygen supply.

Dry drowning can occur when children swallow too much water. Symptoms commonly appear after the victim leaves the water. With secondary drowning, it can actually take up to 24 hours before symptoms start to show up. Dry drowning can be fatal.

How is Dry Drowning Diagnosed?

Dry drowning brings about specific symptoms that should be considered warning signs to immediately receive medical attention. The following may occur:

  • Water Rescue: Any child pulled out of the water needs medical care and a checkup immediately. Children also don’t know how to describe the pain they are feeling, so it’s crucial to take extra precautions.
  • Coughing: Excessive coughing may mean difficulty breathing.
  • Sleepiness: Sudden fatigue or inability to sleep after being lively in the pool or water may be due to a lack of oxygen.
  • Trouble Breathing: Shallow breaths and flaring nostrils indicate difficulty breathing, which is also a red flag for dry drowning.
  • Behavior Changes: Changes in behavior can occur if a child has a reduced oxygen flow, such as appearing sick or dizzy.
  • Vomiting: Vomiting can indicate dry drowning.

What to Do if You Notice Dry Drowning Symptoms

A parent who notices these symptoms in their child should act quickly and take them to a doctor. The doctor can examine the child and recommend further action, such as going to the emergency room or urgent care. If there is apparent respiratory distress, calling 911 is the best course of action.

Treatment for Dry Drowning

Treatment for dry drowning depends on the person and the symptoms they exhibit. The doctor typically checks the vital signs and monitor the patient. In serious cases, it may be necessary to take an X-ray or oxygen. Ventilation is essential in the most extreme cases.

Always keep an eye on children when they are in a pool, at the beach or in any other body of water. It’s paramount to ensure that there are safety devices around any private swimming pool. If you’re in a public place, make sure that there are lifeguards stationed. Swimming lessons are excellent options to prevent dry drowning from occurring as well.

In some cases, a public or private pool may have been negligent in providing supervision to children swimming. The Tucson personal injury attorneys with Karnas Law Firm are dedicated to investigating all the facts surrounding a case of dry drowning. Whether you have a personal injury or wrongful death case, you deserve justice. Allow us to determine the value of your case and help you understand your legal options at this difficult time.