8 Truths About Drowning and ‘Dry Drowning’ Revealed
July 09, 2019
By Brianna McCabe
As if drowning dangers aren’t terrifying enough, parents now have compounded anxieties to cope with after recent reports of ‘dry drowning’ have shown individuals—mostly children—appearing to drown days or weeks after water exposure.
Timothy Watkins, M.D., a board certified pediatrician, explains the differences between drowning and ‘dry drowning’ and how to ensure your child’s safety whether on land or sea:
- Drowning occurs when water enters the lungs from being in or below the water. It typically occurs in one of the two following manners:
- A person will involuntarily take a breath and bring water into his or her airway—which ultimately closes it. With a lack of oxygen, a person becomes unconscious and water eventually fills the lungs.
- A person will experience a laryngospasm, where the vocal chords spasm and seal that pathway. This can be seen in many drowning instances, especially when someone is trying to hold his or her breath underwater.
- Registering children for age-appropriate swimming lessons
- Isolating pools with barriers, such as fences and gates, to prevent falls or unsupervised entrances
- Supervising of all children around water and being within an arm’s length
- Using life jackets or life vests
- Learning CPR
Dr. Watkins rotates between our pediatric practices in Hackensack and Wyckoff. He is a physician at Hackensack Meridian Health Medical Group, a network of more than 1,000 physicians and advanced providers at over 300 practices throughout New Jersey. Our care network can help you better manage your health. Visit HMHMedicalGroup.org to find a practice near you.
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.
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