Every Parent Must Know About Dry Drowning

The term ‘dry drowning’ is defined as when water enters a person’s airways and makes it difficult for air to reach the lungs. A few stories have recently been reported of children swimming normally this summer then suddenly suffocating afterward.

On June 9th, CNN reported that 4-year old Frankie Delgado died of dry drowning a week after swimming. June 25th, Fox 17 reported that 8-year old Mekhi Ivy died of dry drowning as well. Now dry drowning has become a widespread fear that has parents in a panic, but some doctors claim that this issue is not legitimate.

In the case of Mekhi Ivy, an autopsy has been done that shows he may have drowned under more regular circumstances. In the case of Frankie Delgado, the length of time that the child had passed after being in the water concerns skeptical doctors.

“I think we need to throw the term out. I think it is incredibly confusing,” said Doctor Erica Michiels of Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. “We’re hearing this timeline get longer and longer and longer in news reports, that this can happen days or weeks away, and it’s really hours.”

What Michiels and other drown experts want to make known to concerned parents is that if you have noticed anything 24 hours after being in the water than the issue is not water/drown related. Although if a parent should notice anything unusual after being in the water, one should seek medical assistance immediately.

In an effort to prevent drowning altogether, Michiels suggests, “that parents be designated to watching kids closely while they’re in the water,” and that way this terrible fear and mysterious kind of death can be put to rest.

 – Contributed by Briana Wright

WHUR Contributor

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