Dry Drowning: Rare But Deadly For Children - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dry Drowning: Rare But Deadly For Children

You take your child to the pool for the afternoon and she ends up under the water for several seconds. You think the coast is clear once she is out and acting like herself again. Hours later, she is dead from a condition known as dry drowning.

Whether a child has died as a result of secondary drowning cannot be determined until an autopsy is performed. But for one doctor, drowning is drowning.

Up to 24 hours after being submerged in water, a child could still drown. Dr. Eric Levy, who works in Pediatric ICU, says "the lungs can actually do bad things because of the lack of oxygen getting to them when drowning."

So the water stays in the child's lungs, going unnoticed until it is too late. That is why even if a child seems OK after a close call, a visit to the emergency room for monitoring is necessary.  Levy says, "we will admit them even if they seem fine because they can develop latent abnormal lung function."

If a child has been submerged, look for one tell-tale sign. Amarillo Parks and Recreation Aquatic Specialist Janice Young says, "if the child has been submerged, if they are sleepy after they get out of the water, get them checked out."

Young says if a child is under water for 30 seconds or more, definitely get him or her checked out by a doctor.

Both the doctor and aquatic specialist say it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

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