Local doctors urge parents to watch out for dry & secondary drow - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Local doctors urge parents to watch out for dry & secondary drowning

Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA Source: KFDA
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

As summer weather rolls in, hundreds across the Panhandle will be visiting area lakes and pools.

Even if you and your children have a fun time and safe experience, there are risks that could follow you back home.

A term many are not familiar with, dry drowning, is a rare and critical situation where children are typically the victims.

"What happens is the water that gets into the lungs may cause damage to the lungs, and over time you'll get inflammation in the lungs and it makes gas exchange in the lungs increasing hard," Donald Hubbard, a medical director for Neighbors Emergency Center said.

Your child doesn't necessarily have to be under water to get air into his or her lungs. They can simply be splashing around, swimming or take a dive.

Dr. Hubbard says this type of drowning can occur within 24 hours after swimming, and there is also another similar condition that can put your child in danger called secondary drowning.

"Secondary drowning is caused by an exposure to water where the larynx closes and it doesn't reopen, and that would be a very serious condition. It's also very rare," Hubbard said. "If the larynx doesn't open, obviously you're going to asphyxiate."

Signs to look out for include shortness of breath, coughing, chest discomfort, confusion and disorientation.

"If your child has been around the water, playing in the water, as soon as they leave the area it doesn't mean the danger is over," Hubbard said. "They probably should be at least monitored for several hours afterwards."

Although both conditions are very rare, Dr. Hubbard says they are conditions parents should be aware of and think about.

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