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Dry Drowning in Infants

Dry Drowning in Infants

Dry drowning in infants is a scary plight. In this article, we shall learn how to identify this condition and the ways to prevent it.
Aarti R
Last Updated: Jun 3, 2018
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 is used to describe death when occurred due to water filled in lungs.
The person feels suffocated due to water in his lungs. Thereafter, this suffocation causes death. However, this is not the case with dry drowning, where 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. It is a type of suffocation. This article will educate you about dry drowning in infants.
Dangers
Dry drowning can be pretty scary. Here, water gets into the lungs of the child, and initially, it does not cause any harm. The effects are seen after approximately 24 hours. Due to this fluid, 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 the brain to starve for the same. Other vital organs also experience the effect of lack of oxygen. Now, you must be wondering from where water would possibly enter your child's lungs. One of the possible places is a swimming pool, where diving can cause water to enter in the lungs.
Please Remember
Dry drowning is not a very common occurrence, i.e., it need not necessarily occur every time your child dives while swimming or every time your baby is in the bath tub. So, parents, please do not panic, as this is a rare phenomenon, which occurs only if the kid accidentally stays underwater for more than a few seconds, so do not be negligent on your part, and keep a watch on your child until he/she is done with the bath, and during diving, (for bigger kids), make sure the tutor is nearby so that he can keep a watch on the child's movements.
Symptoms
The symptoms in infants are very much similar to those in toddlers. Infants of age six months to one year can suffer from this condition after having a bath in bathtubs, toilets, big buckets, and washing machines. Infants playing with water in bathtubs are more likely to suffer. Check for the following symptoms after your child's bath. However, as mentioned before already, please do remember, this does not mean that whenever your child is in the bath, he/she has to experience this condition.
Difficulty in Breathing and Coughing
A very common symptom 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 time, 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 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 common symptom. When your child is in water, keep a watch on him/her. Check whether gagging or breathing inability is seen.
Again, do remember, that these symptoms can be seen in infants even in case of other disorders. However, if they are seen within 24 hours of his bath, contact your medical practitioner immediately. Do not get paranoid though, this problem need not occur at every bathing instance of you kid, and if and when it does, immediate treatment will help you and your child will be alright within a matter of time.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.