Staying safe when playing in pools, ocean

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The seemingly oxymoronic phrase “dry drowning” has been in national headlines.  One of those stories had a tragic end this week. 

Dry drowning, or secondary drowning, is a delayed reaction due to inhaling too much water. Essentially, the lungs become full of fluid and can cause symptoms such as vomiting, often being misidentified as a stomach bug.

Often the symptoms appear hours or days after someone has been in water and the condition can spread quickly, without much time for proper diagnosis and treatment to save a life.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

A 4-year-old in Texas died last week from this rare condition, resulting in national headlines warning parents to be on the lookout for key symptoms. It was that story that saved the life of a 2-year-old in Colorado, according to reports Monday morning.

After hearing about the condition, a father quickly identified the symptoms in his son and sought immediate medical attention. Being aware of these rare, but potentially fatal conditions could save many other lives.

In South Mississippi, beach trips become frequent during the summer months and it’s easy for a child to accidentally inhale water while playing in the Gulf’s waves.

While typical drowning is still much more common, adults should be on alert for any kind of water injury during these trips to prevent tragedy.

Having children wear proper flotation equipment and learn how to swim are two ways to ensure they ingest the least amount of pool or seawater.

In July of last year, a 5-year-old Hillsdale resident died after downing complications. While paramedics quickly responded and administered CPR, he eventually passed away at a hospital in Jackson.

We’ve seen a number of other accidental drownings in the past 10 years, both in Pearl River County and surrounding communities. We hope that by bringing attention to these potential issues, parents in Pearl River County will protect their children from all types of drownings.