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Dry drowning...what does that even mean
Aug 27, 2019

Topic: Water Safety 

Have you heard of “Dry Drowning” and not sure what to make of it?!


Let me start by bringing some facts to the forefront: The term "dry drowning" or "secondary drowning" are terms coined by the media and are not a medical diagnosis.

There are ONLY 3 types of drowning:

  • Fatal Drowning
  • Non-Fatal Drowning with injury or illness
  • Non-Fatal Drowning without injury or illness

In all cases of drowning there is a lack of appropriate amount of oxygen getting to the brain. The sooner this can be restored, the better the chances of survival.

Taking your children out of swim lessons is about the worst course of action you can take.

Having your child in reputable swim lessons, like here at Houston Swim Club, is the BEST thing you can do to increase your child’s chances of surviving a water accident.

Studies Show That Children in Formal Swim Lessons Can Reduce the Risk of Drowning by 88%!!!


In addition to teaching life-saving skills, we are also teaching our children:

  • Breath-Control – So that water is not inhaled or swallowed
  • Water-Safety – From pool entry to respecting water-safety rules, we are constantly reinforcing the children with knowledge to be safer in and around the water
  • Breathing Techniques – Not to be confused with breath-control (the controlled exhaling of bubbles underwater), we are teaching the children the ability to either roll-over, or turn their head to the side to take a breath.

Stories like this make us realize the importance of what we do here at HSC and we are honored that you have put your trust in us to teach your child.

Know that NOTHING is better than uninterrupted adult-supervision.

Know that no one can teach you to be “drown proof” or “water safe”… and you should run away from anyone who tries to tell you otherwise… but you can become safeR in and around water.

Follow the Safer 3 Rules:

  • Safer Water – Use fences to put a barrier between the pool and the yard & home
  • Safer People – Participate in on-going and formal swim lessons to attain proficient swimming skills
  • Safer Response – Knowing CPR and always keeping a phone nearby when swimming.

watch-the-waterRecognize the signs correlated with a drowning and when medical attention is necessary. Some are easy (i.e. unconscious, lack of breathing or pulse), but some are much less obvious (i.e. lethargy, breathing issues, your child simply not acting like themselves).

Only a very small fraction of water accidents, where an individual initially walks away, result in Fatal Drownings days later. Stories like this scare us. They are meant to grab your attention. Know that you, as a parent, are doing exactly what you should to make your child safer in and around water.

Here is a link to an article [Drowning in a Sea of Misinformation] I STRONGLY recommend reading if you have ANY questions about “Dry Drowning”. It was written for Emergency Medicine News by Seth Collings Hawkins, MD; Justin Sempsrott, MD; & Andrew Schmidt, DO, MPH.

Written by Tammy Schoen, Site Director of Houston Swim Club Sugar Land

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