Swallowing water can lead to dry drowning


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With summer break coming very soon, along with the heat comes swimming, but with swimming comes the risk of drowning. Even though the idea of drowning in a public pool is sad and kind of pathetic it is still a very real risk. Even though many people fear drowning in water turns out there’s a way to drown outside of water and it’s just as scary.

A mother from Florida, Facebook post went viral after she posted about how her 4 year-old daughter almost died of dry-drowning. She said that while her daughter was playing in the family pool she tried to blow water out of a pool noodle the same time someone was trying to blow water out the other end. The water shot straight into her mouth causing her to swallow a lot of it. She then proceeded to throw, but was fine after 30 minutes and kept playing in the pool.

Two days after swallowing the water Elianna (the 4 year-old) came down with a fever that wouldn’t go away. Her mother Lacey then remembered reading about a 4 year-old Texan boy who died last year because of dry-drowning. Concerned Lacie decide to take her daughter to an urgent care center. This might seem a bit over dramatic to take your child to urgent care, but it’s good that Lacie did because it might have been the thing to save her life.

While her daughter was being checked on her heart rate suddenly sped up, her oxygen levels dropped, and her skin started to turn purple. The doctor then told her to get her daughter to closest emergency room.  Lacie then rushed her daughter to an emergency room in Lakewood Ranch Medical Center where they took an x-ray of her chest and found inflammation and an infection in her lungs. She was treated for aspiration pneumonia caused by chemicals in the pool reaching her lungs. Elianna was in the hospital for four days with an oxygen tank helping her breathe.

They later found out Elianna was indeed suffering from dry or secondary drowning. Dry/secondary drowning is when a person breathes in water through their nose or mouth and doesn’t immediately drown. The water starts to build up over time and causes difficulty breathing. This type of  drowning can happen ten minutes after the drowning event or 2 days after.


On the bright side dry/secondary drowning is very rare. It makes up only 1-2% of all drowning events. It is most common in young children and very uncommon in adults. The best way to avoid the risk of drowning is just making sure you know how to swim and making sure young children are safe while they swim. I then asked some students what they thought of dry drowning or if they had a fear of drowning..

Do you have a fear of drowning?

“Yeah, but I don’t know how to swim so…” said Alondra Cardenas

“Not scared-scared, but scared” said Melanie Hernandez

I don’t know about you, but I know I can’t drown watching Youtube under my covers so that’s what I’m doing instead of swimming. Stay careful around water this summer.