A parents worst nightmare is one day finding their child floating lifelessly in a pool of water.
Almost every year there are nearly 372,000 deaths from unintentional drowning worldwide. It’s been ranked as high as the 3rd leading cause of death worldwide. In the United States, 1 out of 5 deaths are children under 14 years of age. But, one uncommon black death of drowning known as “Dry Drowning” can take a life silently and unexpectedly.
Drownings are fast and silent. They often occur at private or public pools and can go unnoticed by parents, lifeguards and others in the pool until its too late. In fact there are a number of cases where drowning victims have gone unnoticed in public pools for hours on end and in rare cases, days on end before being discovered. At the Vietnam Veterans Swimming Pool in Fall River, Massachusetts, the body of Marie Joseph, 36, was discovered after several days dead in the water.
Despite warnings, news and education, drownings continue to be one of the leading causes of deaths and is certainly the leading recreational cause of death. But, more and more parents are becoming involved with their children and keeping a closer eye on their safety. To further help prevent drownings, lifeguards are being trained to spot drowning, which includes searching for shadows beneath the water. Many public pools have even installed underwater cameras with warning alert systems in place that have helped save lives.
Even with all of these safety measures in place, there is an uncommon drowning that is difficult to detect and no lifeguard can save you or your child from. This drowning can creep up on you like black death itself, and simply take the last breath out of you or your child. This black death is known as Dry Drowning. It unrelentlessly suffocates you hours after you enjoy your time at the lake or pool. Many victims are known to walk home after enjoying their day at a pool, talk and socialize with others for hours later, but quickly grow tired and often go to bed — only to die from asphyxiation from drowning.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a small percentage of deaths by drowning occur up to 24 hours later, caused by water entering the respiratory system and suffocating its victims.
Johnny Jackson, a 10-year-old American boy from South Carolina was a victim of Dry Drowning just one hour after leaving a pool with his mother. He and his mother had left the pool, walked home and engaged in conversation. When at home, his mother bathed him and he expressed that he was feeling tired and had gone to bed. His mother later found her son in laying in bed unconscious with his face covered with a sponge white material. She immediately rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead from asphyxiation from drowning.
There are other similar stories and doctors say that there are at least a dozen cases of dry drowning e very year, with some being more severe than others. Many victims of dry drowning end up in the emergency room and are saved from death, while others, like Johnny Jackson, are not so lucky. Doctors say that it only takes a few teaspoons of water to be swallowed to go down the wrong way and into the lungs, causing asphyxiation and sometimes death.
Symptoms include tiredness and changes of attitudes. If you suspect that your child could be suffering from Dry Drowning, it is recommended to take them to the emergency room.