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How to Prevent Secondary Drowning / Dry Drowning?

If you own a home pool, drowning prevention should be your #1 concern. According to the CDC, drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of 14 and kills an average of 10 people per day.
When it comes to “drowning” it is important to note that the vast majority of drownings occur when the victim inhales water and sinks to the bottom of the pool within a few seconds. Alarming as that type of incident is to imagine – there is still a good chance for saving a drowning victim without neural damage if he is pulled out of the water within 4 to 6 minutes.

Over the course of the last summer, you may have also heard about the terms “secondary” or “delayed drowning” and “dry drowning“. We wish to clarify that many doctors do not accept the terminology of “dry drowning“, or “secondary drowning”, and that these types of cases are very rare (less than 5% of near-drowning events are at risk). Having said that, we do wish to help you understand the differences, the causes, and the symptoms:

What Are Secondary Drowning and Dry Drowning?
Secondary drowning and dry drowning are closely related but still a bit different. What’s similar is that, with both, the child or person drowning doesn’t submerge underwater. That’s right, dry and secondary drowning can occur poolside, on a patio or deck, which makes it all the more important to know the signs and symptoms that it is happening.

What’s the Difference Between Dry and Secondary Drowning?

Dry Drowning
If someone is swimming and accidentally inhales water through their nose or mouth it can cause a spasm in their vocal cords. When that happens, it becomes difficult and sometimes impossible to breathe, which can kill someone in a matter of minutes even if they’re out of the pool.

Secondary / Delayed Drowning
In this scenario, water is not only inhaled through the mouth or nose but goes all the way into the lungs, which can then cause edema (swelling) of the air sacs in the lungs, which in turn will stop oxygen from being delivered to the body. What is most alarming however is that the edema can happen a few hours after leaving the pool, or even a few days.

The Symptoms For Both Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning Are Very Similar
Both secondary and dry drowning present with similar symptoms that, if you own a pool, you should know how to identify. Those symptoms include;

• A persistent (continuous) cough
• Fatigue and exhaustion, sometimes to the extreme
• Difficulty both breathing and talking
• Moderate to extreme chest pain
• Mood swings characterized by increased irritability
• Vomiting in extreme cases

One of the easiest signs to recognize if your child or a loved one is suffering from dry or secondary drowning is that they will not be able to breathe normally and may not be able to talk. This is caused by ‘hypoxia’ and means that their body isn’t getting enough oxygen. so if you see this happening to be sure to jump into action.

What To Do if Your Child is Suffering from Dry or Secondary Drowning
1. Call 911 right away
2. Stay Calm. This can calm your child and help their vocal cords to relax and make breathing easier
3. Let Doctors know your child was swimming and may have inhaled water

Pool Safety
Here’s the thing; having an extra ‘set of eyes’ as it were, on your kids and the pool is a great idea but isn’t always a practical solution. With the Coral Manta 3000, you get those eyes, watching the pool every minute of every day to alert you if anyone is at risk of drowning. Unlike a fence, pool cover or typical pool alarm – you never need to remember to turn it on, close it or put it over the pool. It’s always on, alert and ready.

We hope this article gave you the information and advice you need to prevent these serious and sometimes fatal pool accidents from occurring. If you have any questions or would like to leave a comment please do so!