Dry drowning: What is it and how to spot the symptoms

- School is out and summer is here, which means kids will be heading to the water.

In Texas, a 4-year-old boy died as a result of dry drowning one week after he inhaled water while swimming. Dry drowning is very rare, but it is possible and usually occurs with children. Dr. Jason Vieder, an emergency room doctor from Henry Ford Hospital, joined us on The Nine to tell us more about dry drowning.

Dr. Vieder explains that, sometimes, when a child inhales or swallows water it triggerse a reflex that causes the airway to clamp down, limiting the amount of oxygen to the body.

If this airway clamps down, the child will begin developing symptoms over time. These symptoms include coughing; chest pain; trouble breathing; sleepiness/fatigue; and vomiting. He says the child will have less energy than normal and won't be acting like themselves.

"It is still a very uncommon occurance," he says. He's been a physician at Henry Ford Hospital for 12 years now and hasn't seen a dry drowning case. " I always tell parents when I'm with them, that you know your child best so you want to trust your instinct as a parent that, if something appears wrong, you bring them into the emergency room."

Dr. Vieder always recommends adult supervision while children are swimming, and to get your children swim lessons. 

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