Verify: Can you drown after leaving water?

Verify: Can drown days after being in the water

Each year we hear of children drowning in the lake or backyard pools, but is it possible to drown after you’ve left the water?

WKYC’s Monica Robins spoke with Lolita McDavid, Medical Director of Child Advocacy and Protection at University Hospitals for a better understanding.

McDavid verified that yes, while it is extremely rare, it is possible to drown after leaving the water.

The non-medical term is called dry drowning. It happens when a child has a near drowning experience.

They’ve usually coughed up any water, but it’s the larynx not the lungs that are affected. The larynx goes into a spasm and prevents proper breathing . 

Secondary drowning happens when water does get into the lungs. Symptoms can start up to 48 hours after swimming and include coughing chest pain, trouble breathing and extreme fatigue. 

Children showing these symptoms should be seen by medical officials immediately.

They need to be observed for 24 hours even if they appear fine.

These kids should be observed for 24 hours even if they look fine.

VERIFY: Sources

Lolita McDavid, Medical Director of Child Advocacy and Protection at University Hospitals

VERIFY: Resources

The World Health Organization's definition of drowning. 

WHO Drowning Definition 2005 by WKYC.com on Scribd

 

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