Dry Drowning & Secondary Drowning: What You Need to Know to Keep Kids Safe by Ann Marie Patitucci

Family Health
a year ago

Dry Drowning & Secondary Drowning: What You Need to Know to Keep Kids Safe

Dry drowning and secondary drowning can occur hours OR EVEN DAYS after your child has gotten out of the water. The two are slightly different but have the same symptoms: 

  • coughing
  • chest pain
  • trouble breathing
  • vomiting
  • feeling extremely tired
  • fever
  • mood swings

Symptoms of dry drowning generally present right after time in the water, while secondary drowning typically begins between one and 24 hours later. Although in most cases symptoms will go away on their own, it's important to seek medical attention. If the symptoms don’t go away, or worsen, take your child to the ER (not your pediatrician's office).


Fortunately, dry and secondary drowning are very rare. According to Dr. Mark Reiter, past president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the best way to prevent drowning is water safety:

  • Only allow swimming in areas with lifeguards.
  • Watch your child closely when she is in or around water.
  • Be vigilant even if the water isn’t deep.
  • Never let your child swim alone.
  •  If you have a pool, fence it in completely.

Get more information about dry and secondary drowning via WebMD, and more information via USA TODAY.

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Katie Sloan
This is one of my fears too!
Ann Marie Patitucci
It's terrifying, but I feel better knowing more about it.
Tiffany Zook
Thanks for the info AM
Elisa Schmitz
Terrifying! I know someone who died this way. Thank you for sharing this vital info, Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead !
Kim Kusiciel
Oh my gosh, my daughter just complained of chest pain and trouble breathing after being in the pool this weekend. Now I wonder if it was this. Thankfully she's ok, but something I will keep an eye on in the future. Thanks for sharing Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Thank God she's ok, Kim Kusiciel !I'm glad we're able to spread awareness so more people know about this.
Dieter Schmitz
Thanks Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead for another great tip about water safety - every parent's summer goal!
Ann Marie Patitucci
Yes! Drowning has always terrified me. I hope this information is helpful to many moms and dads.
Kim Kusiciel
Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead I pinned your tip. I think it's super important to share the word. Here's your pin link: www.pinterest.com/pin/17831446...
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
My son had a near drowning accident during time at a kids club. It was the worse day of my life. Fortunately, he went directly to the ER and spent and overnight to be monitored. He is fine, but water is no joke! Ann Marie Gardinier Halstead
Ann Marie Patitucci
So scary! Thank God he's ok!

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