All About Babies

Believe It or Not, Dry Drowning Can Happen

Water safety is something we parents take pretty seriously: We hang on to our babies in the pool (and teach them survival techniques) and watch our older ones like a hawk, even if they already know how to swim. After all, drownings are common -- they're the number-one cause of death in children under 5 -- and they can happen in the blink of an eye.

But drowning after leaving the water? That's a new one on me. Thankfully, though, it's something Tiffany Eidson was wise to last week when she noticed her two-year-old daughter choking in her sleep; she also spotted water coming out of the girl's nose and mouth. Eidson had just watched a news segment on "secondary drowning" and realized that her daughter was experiencing those very symptoms, even though it had been hours since she was in the pool of the Kansas City, Mo., hotel where they were staying. Eidson rushed the little girl to a nearby hospital, where doctors were able to resuscitate her, according to USA Today.

Though very rare, so-called "dry" drownings occur when a small amount of water pools in the lungs and causes spasms that can close the airway, according to the World Health Organization. Drowning can occur up to 24 hours after leaving the water, and the big symptoms to look for are difficulty breathing and extreme fatigue. Bottom line: If you suspect your child has any of these symptoms, take him immediately to the ER. The sooner you get help, the better the chances of survival.

Tell us: Have you brought your baby into the water yet? Are you considering signing up for an infant swimming class?

How to Introduce Your Baby to the Water

Is all that ear tugging a sign of swimmer's ear or an infection? Get the facts -- and peace of mind -- with our Baby Symptom Checker. And keep up with the latest baby news by liking All About Babies on Facebook!

Image of baby swimming courtesy of Shutterstock