Anyone know details about "Dry Drowning"?

I heard about the story of the 10 year old boy who drowned at home hours after breathing in a little water while swimming. I'm really scared that this could happen with my 2 year old during a bath or taking him to the pool, especially since he likes to dump water on his head and tries to stick his face in the water. Does anyone know how you know if you should be concerned or how much water it takes for this to happen?

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I teach a parent-tot swim class, and we "dunk" kids as young as 6 mo. underwater. However, there's a specific technique that we use to ensure that the children don't inhale water.

    Your 2 year-old does normal things for his age. Dumping water on his head is fine, and sticking his face in the water is probably an attempt to blow bubbles. You can encourage this by helping him develop bubble blowing technique. (Say "moo" in the water, pretend to blow out birthday candles, etc)

    From experience, if children swallow enough water, the natural response is to throw up. This is usually preceded by forced, deep coughing. The child might also gag. Fortunately, they're usually fine after they throw up. In the classes I teach, we teach parents how to hold their children correctly in the pool, how to tell if they've swallowed too much water, etc.

    I'm by no means a medical expert, but the way I understand dry drowning is that it's a deeper inhalation of water. It causes a muscle spasm. The water has to hit certain parts of the respiratory system with a considerable amount of force- something your 2 year-old would not likely be able to do.

    As a swim instructor, I ask you to PLEASE not pass on a fear of water to your child. It's one of the most detrimental fears you could instill in him. Let him have fun in the water and just watch him carefully.

  • 1 decade ago

    "dry Drowning" is very uncommon. Only a few thousand kids die from it each year (yes I know a thousand is a lot of kids, but if you consider how many kids there are in the US, a few thousand is such a small percentage). Basically what happens is they try to breath under water by inhaling. When they breath in, the water gets into there lungs and they slowly drown. The signs are sudden extreme moodiness (caused by the brain trying to get oxygen), tiredness (from the body not getting enough oxygen to produce energy) and shortness of breath. If you are really worried the best thing to do is once the child is clean and dried off lay them down and have them take a deep breath. Put your ear to there chest, if they have a hard time taking a deep breath, or you hear something in there lungs take them to the hospital. It doesn't even take 5 mins for some one to listen and decide if it is the start of dry drowning or not. If it is they put the person on an oxygen tank and get the water out of there lungs. They won't have any long lasting effects from it, and it won't hurt.

  • 1 decade ago

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 3,600 people drowned in 2005, the most recent year for which there are statistics. Some 10 to 15 percent of those deaths was classified as “dry drowning,” which can occur up to 24 hours after a small amount of water gets into the lungs. In children, that can happen during a bath.

    Now signs can include estreme tiredness,soiling one's self,and drastic behavior changes. and if any of these occur after being exposed to any water whatsoever then rush right away to an emergency room to be examined. well thats about all my data...oh and u have to be asleep in order for ur body to make this attempt so try to a void sleep for a couple of hours if this occurs.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There are 3 warning signs that occur when a child is dry drowning.

    1) difficulty breathing

    2) drowsiness

    3) unusually behavior

    The 10yr old only had 2 of the signs (tiredness and strange behavior) the "behavior" thing was that he soiled his pants while swimming, which was something he normally would not have done.

    Be aware of the signs but also remember: all of us dumped water over our heads as children. As long as you are aware of the signals and watch him carefully in the pool/tub: he should be fine.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    ANY difficulty breathing should be IMMEDIATELY addressed regardless of the reason.

    The previous poster had some excellent tips and I would follow up by researching anything else you might find so that you can be aware of the symptoms, for the safety of your child and the safety of other kids whose parents might not know.

    Great question.

  • 1 decade ago

    the case of that 10 year old. this happened in my state

    it has since come out that someone held him under water and he took a breath and swallowed water.

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