This week, the news was filled with a report of a 10-year-old boy in South Carolina who died from "dry drowning" – a little known phenomenon in which a person drowns without being in water. There is a delayed effect – between one hour and twenty four hours – from the time the water reaches the person's lungs. Every year, about 4,000 American's die from dry drowning. 1,400 of them being children. It usually happens in people who are swimming for the first time or those who are not good swimmers. People suffering from asthma are also more at risk.
I never heard of this before this week and I tend to suspect most people haven't. But it's important for parents to recognize the symptoms and take them seriously. The most important signs are extreme fatigue, difficulty in breathing and changes in behavior. All are the result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain. If your child has any of these symptoms and he has recently been swimming you should immediately take him to the hospital.
This is just one more example of the dangers of pools and swimming. Remind every mom you know that it's critical to always keep an eye on kids when they're in the water.