With dry drowning, water never reaches the lungs. Instead, breathing in water causes your child's vocal chords to spasm and close up after he's already left the pool, ocean, or lake. That shuts off his airways, making it hard to breathe. A condition called pulmonary edema is the next following.
Here, we write about a case where a ten year old child, Johnny, had foam on his mouth and had difficulties breathing. After taking him to the ER immediately, the mother was told that what happened was "Secondary Drowning".
Though rare, secondary drowning can be fatal if warning symptoms are ignored. Anytime someone (children and adults alike) inhales even a small gush of water (pool, lake or ocean) it can irritate the lungs and cause swelling. Usually very little water is present in the lungs when secondary drowning occurs, but the small amount of liquid is enough to hinder the lungs ability to provide oxygen to the bloodstream.
If your child has had a near drowning, or perhaps swallowed too much water, keep a close eye out for the symptoms of secondary drowning and take them to the hospital immediately. Symptoms can even take between one and 72 hours to appear.
The symptoms are following:
• Excess fatigue after bathing;
• Shortness of breath after bathing;
• Chest pain
• Irritability or mood swings, for no apparent reason.