Kids can drown hours after leaving the pool – doctors warn

When it gets hot kids and parents rush to beat the heat in the lakes, pools or oceans BUT there is something you need to be aware of.

Hundreds of children are sent to emergency rooms for drowning every year. According to CBS New York station WCBS, the particular drowning occurs after the child has left the water and not while swimming.

Dr. Lewis Maharam, a sports medicine specialist explains to WCBS that this condition is known as “dry drowning” or secondary drowning and it’s causing a lot of kids to be sent to the hospital just a few hours or after a few days after having swum in the pool. Dr. Maharam mentioned that it only took a few teaspoons of water to do down the wrong way and straight to the lungs to cause the condition.

It occurs when kids after playing around the pool or sea accidentally inhale water.

At first, they have a cough, and everything seems fine. But, often, they are not.

Dr. Maharam further explains, ” They had a typical day at the pool, and afterward they go to bed and start coughing or wheezing, or the parents see bubbling from the mouth.”

He explains that the lungs start irritating and secreting fluid leading the children to drown in their body`s fluid.

WCBS asked parents at a Long Island pool what they knew about the condition. One of them was shocked, especially as it could happen a day after having left the water.

The symptoms include:


Chest pain

Feeling extremely tired


Trouble with breathing.

Jim Hazen from the Safe-T-Swim swim school advises parents to go straight to the emergency room and not the pediatrician, after noticing any problem after their child has been in the water.

He notes that most of the cases are preventable and treatable.

Hazen said, “The prevention is adult supervision, number one, learn to swim, number two”.

According to WCBS reports research reveals that not all children are vulnerable to “dry drowning.” It can also happen in adults — but it’s rare.

Dr.Maharam said we should get the word out to as many people as possible.