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People think of drowning as being underwater for an extended period. However, drowning can happen with a simple splash of water in the mouth.
Drowning is when water gets past the cartilage that covers your windpipe (the epiglottis) and ends up in the lungs.
According to Pediatrician Dr. Mercy Chong, there are three types of drowning: fatal, non-fatal without complications, and non-fatal with complications.
“There is no such thing as drowning and having no symptoms,” says Dr. Chong. “When the term ‘dry drowning’ pops up, we find that the children had symptoms; they just presented less dramatically.”
As Joia Henson, APRN-CNP, explains, “‘Dry drowning’ is not a medically-accepted term.” It is not a medical condition listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Parents should watch for children who become suddenly ill after water exposure.”
What you should look for
Any kind of sudden respiratory problem means the child should be evaluated in the emergency room.
- Coughing that doesn’t go away or is getting worse
- Children who don’t stop clearing their throat
- Young children who are breathing more shallowly
- Lowered energy levels in a normally active child
Dr. Chong also notes that parents the most important part of CPR is ventilation.
Parents can help reduce risks for their children by ensuring they know how to administer proper CPR. Water safety is not limited to pools and includes never leaving babies around any kind of water, even in the home.
When you need emergency care, every minute matters. Kettering Health Network has 15 emergency centers ready to care for you and your family.
Find your nearest location at ketteringhealth.org/emergency
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