Dry drowning is a condition in which the lungs become incapable to extract oxygen from air. It occurs due to the ingestion of some fluid into the lungs and generally happens after going for a water activity in swimming pool, river, lake and the likes. In this case, the affected person is not literally drowned, but his lungs ingest some quantity of water. Dry drowning is a dangerous condition and if not detected at the right moment can lead to serious consequences. Usually dry drowning happens within 1 to 24 hours after the water activity. It is particularly risky among the toddlers, who cannot express their inconvenience. Hence, it becomes difficult for the parents to detect the exact cause of the problems in right time, which can hamper the child’s health significantly. We bring you the signs and symptoms of dry drowning in toddlers, which can help you detect the condition at an early stage and take actions accordingly. The basic treatment of this condition is to supply oxygen to the lungs. Besides, parents need to observe their children when they are out in water. Read on to know the symptoms of dry drowning, to be alert to take appropriate actions, if your child has to face it.
Signs & Symptoms Of Dry Drowning In Toddlers
- Observe the breathing of the child. When he/she is in the water, there will be abrupt changes in the child’s respiration. However, it should normalize within a short period of time. If he/she continues to face shallow breathing or painful breathing even later, consider the chances of dry drowning.
- You should monitor the number of breaths your child takes. Count the number of breaths for 15 seconds and multiply it by 4. In case, there are more than 20 breaths in a minute, there is a risk of dry drowning.
- In case the child complains of persistent cough after any water activity, you can suspect dry drowning. The child will cough continuously in an attempt to drive out the water that has already accumulated in his/her lungs.
- He/she can experience pain in the chest portion, which is another symptom of dry drowning. Chest pain happens because of the pressure exerted on the chest, due to the formation of a vacuum in the lungs.
- The toddler can also have mood swings, in case of dry drowning. He/she may either be over-agitated or lethargic, when laid down.
- There can be significant changes in the behavior of a toddler, after dry drowning. You may find him/ her incapable of understanding your verbal instructions. Since he/she cannot express his/her emotions, you need to judge by his/her behavior.
- In some cases, the toddler may fall unconscious as well, because of dry drowning.
- There can be changes in the color of skin, like blue/gray or pale. There can be a blue tinge on the lips or the face may turn pale blue. This happens due to the flow of low oxygenated blood in the body, after dry drowning.
- Generally, a toddler is full of energy and is always ready to play. But if you notice a drop in energy level, leading to tiredness, after any water activity, check out for dry drowning. Often parents tend to ignore this symptom, thinking that their child may have got tired after the long hours of play.
- The toddler may be seen rubbing his/eyes frequently and may be crying constantly. Pay attention to this, as it may be a sign of dry drowning.
- If the toddler faces choking or gagging, it is a crucial signal of dry drowning. In case it lasts for two minutes or more, the condition can get critical.