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You can drown hours after leaving the water. Here's how

Tuesday, June 18th 2019, 3:20 pm - While rare, dry drowning is worth keeping in mind.

Since 2005, more than 3,000 people in the U.S. have died from 'dry drowning', a phenomenon where a person drowns on dry land hours after being submerged in water. While it is rare, it's something worth keeping in mind. Here's what you need to know.

WHAT IS DRY DROWNING?

"Dry" or "secondary" drowning occurs when a person inhales a large amount of water into the lungs, typically when swimming.

Inhaling water can cause the vocal chords to spasm and close hours after leaving the water. This can obstruct airways and result in difficultly breathing and in some cases death.

WHO DOES DRY DROWNING AFFECT?

Dry drowning can happen in adults, but it's more common in small children. Since 2005, an estimated 3,600 people have died from dry drowning in the U.S. alone, according to a report published in Medical News Today.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF DRY DROWNING?

According to the Lifesaving Society, signs of dry drowning include:

  • Throat or chest irritation
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever

Any child that is rescued from the water should be evaluated by a medical professional. Experts recommend monitoring your children for signs of dry drowning for a period of 24 hours after swimming.

HOW CAN DRY DROWNING BE PREVENTED?

WebMD recommends:

  • Keep a close eye on your child when they're in or around water and never let them swim alone.
  • Only allow your child to swim in areas that have on-duty lifeguards.
  • Experts say it's important to monitor children in any body of water. Dry drowning doesn't just occur after a dip in the pool or ocean: It can also happen after using a bathtub or kiddie pool.

CAUGHT ON CAMERA: THIEVES STEAL KIDDIE POOL

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