Dry Drowning in Infants

Dry Drowning in Infants

Dry drowning in infants is a scary plight. There are certain symptoms of dry drowning in infants that will help you keep a check on your child. Let us discuss in detail dry drowning in infants.

When we breathe, expansion of lungs takes place, which generates a negative pressure in the lungs. The air that is filled up in the chest is inhaled by nose and travels from the nose, larynx and upper airways. This is the normal functioning of lungs while we breathe. According to the classical definition of drowning, the term drowning is used to describe death when occurred due to water filled in lungs. The person who is drowning feels suffocated due to water in his lungs. Thereafter, this suffocation causes death. However, this is not the case with dry drowning. In dry drowning, an involuntary laryngospasm reflex causes an inability to breathe, as air cannot be inhaled into the lungs. This leads to unconsciousness and the person dies from lack of oxygen. Dry drowning is a type of suffocation. Mostly, dry drowning in children is a common occurrence. Let us have a detailed look at dry drowning in infants.

Dry Drowning in Infants

Dry drowning in infants is a bit scary and is not like the classical drowning. In dry drowning in infants, water gets into the lungs of the child and initially does not cause any harm to the child. This water in the lungs causes effects that are seen after approximately 24 hours. Due to this fluid inside the lungs, the lungs are not able to contract and expand. The effect of this is that the lungs are not able to extract oxygen from the inhaled air. This lack of oxygen causes starvation of brain for oxygen. Other vital organs also experience the effect of lack of oxygen. Now, you must be wondering from where will the water enter your child’s lungs! The answer to this question is that immersion in water or diving in a swimming pool can cause water to enter in the lungs.

Dry Drowning Symptoms

There are some main dry drowning symptoms in infants which help you determine that your child is suffering from dry drowning. The dry drowning symptoms in infants are very much same as that of the dry drowning symptoms in toddlers. Infants of age six months to one year can suffer from dry drowning after having a bath in bathtubs, toilets, big buckets and washing machines. Infants playing with water in bathtubs are more likely to suffer from dry drowning. Check for the symptoms given below after your child’s bath.

Difficulty in Breathing and Coughing

The very common symptom of dry drowning in infants, that can be easily observed by parents is difficulty in breathing. Check that your child is not coughing wheezing or having any slight difficulty in breathing. Check for any physical changes or change in the body language of your child. Many a times, the unintentional intake of water causes coughing. If this coughing persists for a long time, it is quite possible that there is water in his/her lungs.

Fatigue and Confusion

Fatigue and tiredness is also observed in infants due to lack of oxygen. Do not ignore tiring of babies, because many parents will think that their children are tired due to bathing. The lack of oxygen to brain and other body parts can cause lethargy and confusion in your child. Your child may suffer from confusion in verbal communication and may look sluggish. Vomiting is another symptom of dry drowning in infants. When your child is in water, keep a watch on him/her. Check whether gagging or breathing inability is seen. Read more on dry drowning treatment.

Check for signs and symptoms of dry drowning in toddlers as well as in children. This is the best way to prevent dry drowning in infants. This was all about dry drowning in infants. Hope, this will give you the guidelines to prevent dry drowning of your child.


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