An Ohio doctor says dry drownings are known as a 'submersion injury' and are very rare. Dry drownings happen when a child's airway begins to spasm after having taken in water while swimming, and can result in a drowning episode after getting out of the water. Doctor Michael McHugh with Cleveland Clinic Children's says during any form of drowning, the problems begin when water washes away important chemicals in the lungs. Doctor McHugh says our bodies have a defense mechanism that keeps water from getting into our airways. It's the same reflex that causes us to cough when folks accidentally get water down 'the wrong pipe.' He says the main thing to look out for is if a child is acting very different than their usual self.
Doctor McHugh advises to seek medical attention for a child having trouble walking, talking and following commands after swallowing water or getting water up the nose.