Monday, June 9, 2008

"Dry Drowning" a New Summertime Worry for Parents

Last week parents got a new hazard that may befall their children this summer: a little-known phenomenon called dry drowning. The condition burst onto the public's mind recently when it was reported that a 10-year-old South Carolina died more than an hour after being in a swimming pool.

It may sound unlikely that a person can drown on dry land, but that's exactly what happens in dry drowning. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that 10 to 15% of drownings can be classified as dry drownings. (You can find a CDC fact sheet on drowning here.)

Even a small amount of water in the lungs after swimming can cause illness and even death, as reported in an article on WebMD. The article examines how dry drowning happens, what the signs and symptoms are, how long after water exposure dry drowning is a danger, and more.

As with many illnesses, dry drowning can be prevented if noticed and treated early. So before you head off to the pool or swimming hole with the family, learn the signs of drowning, dry and otherwise, and be safe.

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