What Is “Dry Drowning” And Is It Real?

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Dry drowning… Is it real?

Not according to a number of critics who have released rebuttal articles over claims of dry drowning in the past few days.

Dani Stringer, a pediatric nurse and proprietor of Kidnurse.org, argued in a recent blog post that dry drowning should not be a concern for parents of young children, because it is not recognized as a real medical condition. She claims that the term “dry drowning” originally came into use to describe drowning victims whose lungs were found to be free of water during autopsy (which is actually due to a laryngospasm).

Stringer argues that cases of vocal cord spasms and other reactions that produce a drowning-like effect are extraordinarily rare. They make up about 1 to 2 percent of all drowning cases, according to WebMD. Parents should be aware that rare things like this are possible, but they should not be worried that their child will die suddenly a few days after going in the swimming pool. It’s far more important for parents and other adults to keep an eye on their kids while they swim and make sure they don’t drown while they are in the water.

It is possible that when a child (or an adult, for that matter) goes swimming, they might inhale some water, and it will go into their lungs, a process known as aspiration. This can produce symptoms like what was described above, but these symptoms will happen immediately.

 

So, what’s the bottom line?

Dry drowning and secondary drowning are not recognized as diseases or medical conditions. They are ambiguous terms used to describe real physiological reactions, but they are extremely rare, and not something that a parent should be worried about. Children are much more likely to drown in the water due to the negligence of adults who should be monitoring them. If, for whatever reason, your child begins to exhibit difficulty breathing, take them to the ER and get professional medical help there.

Preventing drowning is simple: teach your children how to swim at an appropriate age, and make sure someone is watching them while they are in the water, preferably a qualified lifeguard trained in CPR. It’s a good idea for all parents to be certified in CPR themselves.

Be vigilant and be sure to fact-check stories like this on the internet before getting alarmed or sharing them with others.

 

References:

www.kidnurse.org

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www.rescuediver.org

www.osteopathic.org

www.promedicahealthconnect.org

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