Dry & Secondary Drowning: What You Need to Know to Keep Your Kids Safe! by Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Dry drowning and secondary drowning can occur hours OR EVEN DAYS after your child has gotten out of the water. The two are slightly different but have the same symptoms:
- chest pain
- trouble breathing
- feeling extremely tired
- mood swings
Symptoms of dry drowning generally present right after time in the water, while secondary drowning typically begins between one and 24 hours later. Although in most cases symptoms will go away on their own, it's important to seek medical attention. If the symptoms don’t go away, or worsen, take your child to the ER (not your pediatrician's office). Fortunately, dry and secondary drowning are very rare. According to Dr. Mark Reiter, past president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the best way to prevent drowning is water safety:
- Only allow swimming in areas with lifeguards.
- Watch your child closely when she is in or around water.
- Be vigilant even if the water isn’t deep.
- Never let your child swim alone.
- If you have a pool, fence it in completely.