How to be aware of dry and secondary drowning this summer

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Now that school's out and summer's officially arrived, pools around the area get packed with families trying to cool off.

But parents need to be aware of drowning in water, and other types of drowning that can happen on land.

Dr. Glen Monk works at the Wilson N. Jones hospital as an emergency doctor. He said dry drowning is something that occurs immediately after a child has a near-drowning experience.

"After a child has a near drowning episode they can have something called a dry drowning episode which has been popularized on the internet recently because of the summer months,” Monk said.

Monk said that a child’s vocal chord will spasm and close off. He said it’ll be very apparent when a child is experiencing dry drowning.

“It’s more of an immediate response to a near drowning episode,” Monk said.

Dry drowning is different than secondary drowning, which occurs when a child has a near-drowning experience and inhales water into their lungs.

It is possible for secondary drowning to take place up to 24 hours after, which is why parents should always be aware of when their children get out of the pool.

In both cases, doctors recommend looking for signs of trouble breathing, coughing, chest pain, or serious change in behavior, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Recently, Texoma has seen multiple drownings. A 10-year-old girl died in the Red River on Saturday, and a six-year-old boy nearly drowned in Pottsboro on Friday in a pool.

Lifeguards at the Splash pool in Sherman gave News 12 some advice on how to prevent drowning.

"Make sure you keep an eye on your kid and not just let the lifeguards do it because the lifeguards have to watch multiple children, not just yours,” said Elizabeth Rayne of Sherman.

And Sherman mother Christina Hurst has advice for all parents.
“I would really pay very close attention to them, even if you feel like they’re at an age where they can likely be by them self,” Hurst said.

Dry and secondary drownings are very rare and only make up one to two percent of all drownings, but that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t take extra precaution.

“Just keep a very close eye on them,” Hurst said.

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