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  • Can you Drown Even When you’re Out of the Water? Apparently, Yes

  • dry drowning

    With the Philippines being a haven for pristine beaches, swimming is among the Filipino family's favorite activities and a sport we enjoy all throughout the year. It appears, though, that there is more we could learn about the dangers associated with swimming. Ever heard of “dry” drowning?

    Also referred to as secondary drowning, it occurs when a person inhales small amounts of liquid while in the water. According to a report by usatoday.com, the water can come into the lungs when there is splashing or horseplay in the water, or when any form of struggle is involved. “In the less common instance of dry drowning, the airway closes up due to spasms caused by the presence of water,” explains the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Dry drowning can happen 1 to 24 hours after swimming, when the water has accumulated in the lungs -- a medical condition called pulmonary edema.

    According to webmd.com, the symptoms to watch out for include:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Chest pain
    • Coughing
    • Fatigue
    • Sudden change in mood or behavior
    • Face appears white or blue

    The good thing is that dry drowning is treatable, as long as it is detected early on. Whether or not the child is a confident swimmer, parents should observe his condition after swimming. Should they notice some of the symptoms of dry drowning, the child should be brought immediately to the hospital.

    Parents are also advised to learn CPR, maintain adult supervision of children, or implement a buddy system when swimming in groups. (Related story: 4 Survival Skills Every Parent Should Have)


    According to cnn.com, toys should also be removed from the pool after swimming to discourage kids from jumping into the pool. A fence can also be installed around the pool to prevent children from falling into the water accidentally.

    Sources: usatoday.com, webmd.com, cnn.com, who.int

    Photo from awahmslife.net

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