Doctors warning parents about 'dry drowning' ahead of summer

Kids can drown after getting out of pool
Posted at 12:42 PM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 13:42:25-04

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Doctors are warning parents about 'dry drowning,' an instance where a person can drown without being submerged in water.

Nurse Penny Hanusa tells WEAU-TV that it occurs when you, "Inhale through your mouth or your nose some water and you actually have a spasm in your throat."

According to the CDC, drowning is the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury death for people of all ages, and the second-leading cause of injury death for those ages 1 to 14.

WEAU-TV reports that Dr. Paul Horvath with Mayo Clinic Health Systems says drowning is not restricted to swimming. He calls it "aspiration pneumonia." 

"I actually see it more commonly in the elderly, who have trouble swallowing in their swallowing mechanisms just don't work well and they end up aspirating," said Horvath."They end up getting food, getting fluid, getting saliva down into their lungs,"

Both Hanusa and Dr. Horvath say the symptoms could even come from drinking water too fast. "It's the person who continues to cough or continues to have breathing problems for a protracted period of time. Those are the ones we worry about," Horvath added.

Medical professionals encourage parents to keep an eye on their children not only while they are swimming, but when they get out of the pool, too. 

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