"Dry Drowning" Dangers: What Parents Need to Know After a Child Leaves the Pool

swimming pool
Posted at 10:00 AM, May 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-25 06:14:12-04

Memorial Day weekend for many means opening up the swimming pool for summer, but could your child be in danger of drowning hours after they towel off?

Dry Drowning happens when a child breaths in a small amount of water. Hours later it can cause the vocal chords to spasm cutting off a person's airway. 

"That's shocking to me," parent Wes Tidwell tells WAAY 31. "It's something I've never really heard about."

Officials say a child can swallow water accidentally struggling to swim, or even playing around. While your child might initially seem fine, warning signs can occur up to 24 hours after they are done swimming.

Here's what to look out for:

  • Coughing Consistently
  • Having Trouble Breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling Tired

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says drownings are the lead cause of accidental deaths in children under five. 

Officials say parents should always use extra precautions anytime their child is around a pool. 

"Obviously it's not something that I guess a lot of people know about. It's something people might want to look into," Tidwell expressed.