Summer is here, which mean it's time for kids (and the young at heart) to spend time in the water. Whether you are at the pool or on the beach, swimming is a great way to get exercise, cool off, and take in the summer sun. However, even when taking part in this leisurely activity, you want to remember to put safety first. Water safety is often put on the back burner, but it is crucial in order to avoid having a fun day turn sour.
The dangers and signs of dry drowning
Dry drowning is not a medical term. It is a general reference to drowning once out of the water.
Dry drowning occurs when a child inhales water. The inhlaed water causes the vocal cords and airways to spasm, leading to fluid buildup and lack of oxygen. If untreated, dry drowning can be fatal. The process usually takes days to develop, and children may not show signs until 24 hours after swimming.
The good news is this condition is very rare and treatable. Treatment usually consists of giving a child oxygen, or in serious cases, putting the child on a ventilator. The symptoms of dry drowning include:
-Diarrhea (in rare cases)
You should take your child to the doctor if he or she is exhibiting any of these signs within 12 to 24 hours after swimming.
Other safety tips for kids
While dry drowning has been in the public spotlight in recent years, there are several other safety tips to keep in mind before jumping in the pool. Some pool safety reminders include:
-Don't drink the pool water: Infectious diseases are carried through water, even when it is chlorinated. Watch your young ones carefully to ensure they don't drink the water.
-Dont' run around the pool: You've likely shouted this to your child while at the pool, but it's important. Head injuries are a serious risk when moving too quickly along wet surfaces.
-Only dive off diving boards: Make sure your kids know what depth markers mean so they can discern whether or not it is safe for them to dive into the water.
-Watch for pushing/wrestling games: "Marco Polo" is a safe, fun pool game, but others are much riskier. Encourage your child to avoid games that are rough and could create an unsafe environment.
-Toys are not life jackets: Don't rely on inner tubes and beach balls to help save your child from drowning. Ensure your children have the proper flotation devices to keep them afloat, especially if they are still learning how to swim.
This summer, remember to put safety first!