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An Important Warning Every Parent Should Heed – Secondary and Dry Drowning

The risks associated with secondary or dry drowning have been highlighted again recently when a Mum took to Facebook to share the story of her three year old son who became seriously ill in the hours following a near drowning incident.

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What is Secondary and Dry Drowning?

Dry and Secondary Drowning can occur after a child breathes water into their longs and symptoms often don’t occur until hours after the child (or adult) has left the water.  Secondary drowning occurs when water enters the lungs and builds up which can make breathing difficult and potentially cause a pulmonary edema. In the cases of Dry drowning, water doesn’t reach the lungs, it instead causes a child’s vocal chords to begin to spasm and begin to close up, again after they have left the water **

Darcy McQueeney shared her families story on her Facebook page, which has since been shared over 74,000 times.  Accompanying a picture of her little boy while in hospital, Darcy also explains:

“This is my 3.5 year old laying unresponsive in a hospital bed less than six hours after jumping into the pool.  He only went in for less than thirty seconds. He was being watched by two sober, conscientious adults who were both less than ten feet away in a gated pool. That is likely why he is alive, because he was grabbed out of the water quickly. However, that small blip of time was all it took for him to inhale water.”

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“The water he inhaled caused him to spike a fever, desat and become unresponsive due to a possible seizure.  He was talking and eating after the incident, but went downhill hours later. Everyone who we met in the PICu remarked at how incredibly lucky he is to be alive. Not only because he didn’t drown initially, but because he was at a gigantic risk for secondary drowning.”

Darcy concludes by saying:

“Water safety should be a top priority for everyone. Do not ever leave children unattended near any source of water. Even following all of the rules, accidents happen. Even if they are acting ok after near drowning, please take them to the hospital.”

With summer just around the corner, the McQueeney families story is an important reminder to never take our eyes off our kids when they are around water.

** Medical informations sourced from WebMd.com




Lauren founded her website Create Bake Make as a way to justify the ridiculous amount of baking she loves to do. She has a super sweet tooth and enjoying a slice of cake (or two) is one of her guilty indulgences. As a Mum of two little boys, when she isn't creating fun activities for the kids or breaking up arguments over toy trucks and cars, you will find her in the kitchen baking up a storm - or hiding in the pantry with the latest cooking magazine and a hot cup of coffee!

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