Dry drowning in children.

When a child or adult falls into the water, it is normal for them to inhale and swallow the water, and they are rushed to the rescue in a state of panic and turmoil. Have you ever heard of hidden dry drowning ?

What is dry drowning?

It is a case of drowning that occurs one to 24 hours after getting out of the water, as a result of a large amount of water entering the lungs by mistake.

The danger in the matter is that the child may rise and return to his normal state after the water enters the lungs, and the parents think that he is fine, but some symptoms appear later and may lead to death.

Dry drowning is the forced entry of water through the nose or mouth. When the muscles in the trachea cannot fully protect the lung, fluid stimulates the voice box or larynx, causing it to spasm and close, closing the airway, and breathing becomes difficult. Fluid may end up in places it shouldn’t, such as the sinuses, and it may be difficult to get air into the lungs, resulting in suffocation and death.

Dry drowning” is not a medical term or diagnosis, as the water here does not reach the lungs like normal drowning cases, and doctors describe this phenomenon as “post-immersion syndrome”, and although it is rare, it does happen.

Dry drowning mainly occurs in children, but don’t worry; 95% of children are fine after slipping unintentionally, but it is important to be vigilant and aware of the symptoms of drowning that can occur after your child is in a safe and dry place.

Dry drowning interpretation.

There are two main explanations for the occurrence of dry drowning in children:

▪️ First: When the amount of water enters the lungs by mistake, fluid accumulates inside them and causes the so-called ” pulmonary edema “, which leads to obstruction of breathing in the affected person and a decrease in the proportion of oxygen in the body’s organs and tissues.This condition is called dry drowning.

▪️ Second: After the child swallows a quantity of water after falling in it, a bacteria or virus is transmitted to his body that attacks the body and leads to several symptoms, followed by death.

But the symptoms in this case are more slowly than the first case, and it is called secondary drowning.

The symptoms of dry drowning.

If someone has been in the water recently, or has been inhaling or drinking a large amount of liquid, and has any of the following signs, seek emergency care immediately, as these are signs of dry drowning:

1. Severe, persistent, uncontrollable cough.

2. wheezing.

3. imbalance or dizziness.

4. drowsiness.

5. Confusion, nervousness, or any noticeable changes in behavior.

6. Rapid or difficult breathing.

7. Abnormal breathing patterns.

8. Foam in the nose or mouth.

9. vomiting.

10. Difficulty getting the sound out.

People, especially children who are coughing or fluttering slightly before breathing normally again, should be monitored. If at any time they develop any of the above signs, seek immediate medical help.

How can dry drowning be treated?

This problem is treated in an emergency setting, so seek emergency attention as soon as you notice your child’s previous symptoms. In the meantime, try to keep yourself and your child calm for the duration of the laryngeal and tracheal spasms. Staying calm can help the tracheal muscles relax more quickly.

Once emergency help arrives, they will first administer treatment where the child is. This may include immediate resuscitation if he is suffering from lack of oxygen.

Once the child is stable they will be taken to hospital for observation. Symptoms of dry drowning after a immersion accident require medical monitoring to ensure regular breathing resumes and to rule out other conditions such as secondary drowning or bacterial pneumonia. A chest X-ray, or evaluation of Before a pulmonologist to check whether there is water in the lungs or not.

Tips to avoid dry drowning.

In order to protect our children from the dangers of dry drowning , these tips must be followed:

▪️ Choosing the appropriate swimming pool for the child’s age: It is preferable for the child to descend into the pool where he can stand in case he is unable to swim, and to have one of the parents with him, so that the young child is not left in the water alone.

▪️ Training the child to swim: It is one of the important sports that the child must learn because it makes the body more healthy and fit, and so that the child learns the correct way to practice swimming and is not exposed to the risk of drowning.

▪️ Observing the child while he is in the water: Even if he is skilled in swimming, the father or mother must not turn away from the child until he saves him in the event of any danger.

▪️ Follow up on the child’s breathing after swimming: to ensure that his condition is normal and that he does not have any pain or difficulty breathing.

Reference :

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