Summer time and the living is easy, unless you have children playing in and out of the water. While good times are definitely on the agenda, dangerous situations can happen in seconds. Being aware of them can help you to enjoy your family time and make this summer the most memorable ever.
Most parents are fully aware of the dangers that lurk in the water. At the beach, sharks and rip tides are often a hazard. But at the pool, many parents tend to relax a bit because a pool is a contained source of water with no chance of sharks or being swept away by the tide. And while that’s very true, since there have been no reports of sharks in pools (only alligators and snakes in some areas) or any strong tides in them either, your backyard pool poses a serious danger in regards to drowning.
Drowning can even happen in less than 2 inches of water so it’s important for parents and caregivers to always be vigilant when children are playing outside near or in the water. Most people wouldn’t be able to spot someone drowning in a crowded pool or busy stretch of sea along the shore, but between 2014 and 2015, over 3,500 deaths in America were caused by drowning. One in every 5 of those deaths was a child below the age of 14.
What most parents don’t realize about water play is that there is just as much danger to be cautious of long after your child has toweled off after a swim. Dry drowning and secondary drowning, while much rarer, are both something that all parents should know the signs of so they can get help before it’s too late.
With dry drowning and secondary drowning, your child will have breathed too much water into his lungs. This can also happen if your child struggles as he swims or during playful bouts of dunking and splashing with friends. The symptoms for both types of out-of-water drowning are the same. You’ll know your child needs to get medical attention if they exhibit these symptoms after playing in the pool or ocean: chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing and feeling overly tired. Lack of energy and irritability are also symptoms that are a result of a lack of oxygen streaming to the brain.
These symptoms will come on anywhere from 1 hour to 24 hours after splashing about in the water. Knowing about the signs will help you avoid a tragedy. While most symptoms will disappear on their own, it’s still important to have your child checked out if you suspect dry drowning or secondary drowning to be occurring. Putting safety first will ensure that your summer is as spectacular as you want it to be!