There are things we used to take for granted before we became parents, such as swimming under water and goofing around practicing activities and gymnastics while swallowing water at times and not giving it too much thought. Now that we have children, water poses a danger we had never considered, especially when we discover that there is such a thing as “dry drowning”. Today isn’t about creating panic around this new term we learn when we become parents or when we hear our friends mentioning this word or passing around stories about certain cases where it happened. It is about understanding what this means and how we can prevent our children from falling into this fatal case.
I had heard about this case a few years ago when my daughter started swimming alone but didn’t give it much importance, but when my son recently removed his floaters and considering his very young age, I decided to go in depth with my research to be prepared and share my knowledge with other parents so that we know how to act if the situation poses itself.
First of all, medically speaking, there is no such thing as “dry drowning”. That’s a relief, isn’t it? No, not really. While this term is not correct, it still signifies drowning, a case we need to be aware of. Second, “dry drowning” if we will call it this for the sake of this article, doesn’t happen suddenly. Meaning the stories we read about kids passing suddenly while sleeping are a bit A to Z. There should be something that happens in between that counts as a warning sign for us parents, right? Yes, in fact there are signs we must be aware of, not after regular swimming, but after our child inhales a large quantity of water. These signs are sudden change of behavior, fatigue, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, and coughing. In this case, take your child to the emergency room of the hospital immediately where your doctor will give you instructions on what to do.
The fact of the matter is, we should be aware of anything that poses danger to our kids while at the same time not letting fear and panic cloud our judgment. Let us be alert this summer to any strange symptoms our child may have post swimming, signs that may signify “dry drowning” that are in fact symptoms of drowning medically speaking. It is always better to be safe than sorry, and attention to these warning signs can be life savers.
Maria Hage-Boutros Najem