While swimming, we've all mistakenly taken some water down the wrong pipe. No big deal, right? Unfortunately, it's possible to actually drown hours later on dry land. It is more common in children than adults. The following information will help you spot the signs which could mean life or death for someone you love. Here is what it looks like, how it happens, and what to look out for.
There are two types of drowning on land. These include dry drowning and secondary drowning. These two occurrences are very different. Dry drowning happens soon after a person leaves the water. It’s the result of water reaching the vocal chords and causing them to spasm and block the airway. Secondary drowning happens when water gets into the lungs and stays there for hours, which can trigger inflammation within 24 hours of leaving the water.
Secondary drowning is more rare, but affects children more often than adults. Signs of this type of drowning include breathing issues, vomiting, desire to sleep, low energy, and loss of appetite for both food and fluids. While these signs can indicate other illnesses which are common in kids, if you notice them shortly after they’ve gone swimming then taking them to the emergency room may save their life.
Water safety doesn’t start and end the second we get out of the water. Anyone that has taken water into their lungs should be taken to the emergency room to have their lungs looked at, to make sure there is no damage or persistent risk. Any signs of secondary drowning will pop up within 24 hours, so make sure to keep watch over children even if they have pulled through a near drowning experience and seem perfectly fine.