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To remind you never take your eyes off your child in water

(32 Posts)
SoOverItNow Tue 11-Aug-15 09:57:54


I did yesterday. For a moment. In that moment my 5 yo let go of the float and slipped under the water. He was out of his depth.

He was only under for a few seconds but when he was scooped out was still. I was so frightened but he was breathing thank god. He didn't cough or splutter, he was very very quiet. He was taken out, wrapped up and given a big cuddle. He was running around playing ten minutes later but since then I've been reading up on secondary or dry drowning and feeling like the Worst mum in the world sad

It happened so quickly. He is ok and I'm ok, but I am still feeling shocked at what could have happened.

I thought I was vigilant, but I took my eyes off him for literally seconds and that was all it took.

pretend Tue 11-Aug-15 09:59:17

You poor thing!

I was swimming with Dd last week, 3 years old. Out of nowhere one of her arm bands popped off and she went straight under. Thank god I was within clutching distance but my stomach dropped through my feet.

brew For you.

mrsmeerkat Tue 11-Aug-15 09:59:52


Thank goodness everything is ok. It is so easy to take your eye of for a few seconds. What a fright sad

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 11-Aug-15 10:03:31

Its scary,I know.
It happens though -even in swimming lessons with teachers and lifeguards watching,kids let go of floats and have to be grabbed.
Don't beat yourself up.

Whatabout Tue 11-Aug-15 10:04:19

If your child has got into difficulty in the water look out for signs of secondary drowning for the next 24 hours. It's rare, but worth knowing about and watching for symptoms.

SoOverItNow Tue 11-Aug-15 10:17:09

Yes I read about dry and secondary drowning last night. So frightening. I was checking on him all night! Dh thinks I'm mad.

He seems ok, no coughing and running around as usual but I had a sleepless night last night and won't be able to relax until the 24 hrs are up (2 hrs to go...)

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 11-Aug-15 10:35:24

3 things I would do,personally:

Ring 111 and say what happened,and ask if he needs checking over

Not make a big fuss,and take him swimming again soon.

Put armbands on if he's out of his depth,taking them off to do float practise in shallow water if you want.

confusedandemployed Tue 11-Aug-15 10:39:01

DD (2.5yo) was in a rock pool on Sunday being watched like a hawk by me and DSis. She still managed to get into difficulty in less than a foot of water, her head went under briefly and she gave herself a shock but she was absolutely fine 5 minutes after.

TBH I'm thankful I'd forgotten about secondary drowning. I'd have been a nervous wreck Sunday and last night.

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:39:14

secondary drowning happens in fresh water and bath water. Were you in the sea? It is unlikely to be caused by salt water.

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:41:08

any child who has gone under and inhaled any fresh water should be taken to A and E straight away. Sometimes dialysis is required, but it does need to be done fast.

The other concern is lung infections, which can emerge in the floowoing weeks, so something else to look out for.

MrsReiver Tue 11-Aug-15 10:43:55

Secondary drowning can occur in any fluid, including saltwater.

Theas18 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:47:16

Am I just naiive? Surely a child who is in the water and slips under for aSecond or two before being hauled out isn't at risk of dry drowning - wouldn't they reflexes hold their breath? Why would they inhale water ?

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:55:00

Secondary drowning can occur in any fluid, including saltwater. no it won't happen in isotonic fluids, which sea water often is, it happens because pure water explodes blood cells.

SoOverItNow Tue 11-Aug-15 10:55:01

He can actually swim a few metres in depth so has been refusing to wear arm bands since starting swimming lessons. The teaching pool is shallow though. This one wasn't but had a lifeguard in it and he had a float too. I was about 2 metres away when he went under.

If he wants to go in the same pool I will insist he wear armbands now.

Charis Dialysis and lung infection sound really scary. Do you think he should be seen even though he seems ok?

A&E are quite far away and they are very overstretched in this area. He is running around as normal this morning. It would be a long wait and I have other dc.

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 11-Aug-15 10:57:14

It depends on the length of time and whether they may have inhaled water I believe.Any 'near drowning' must involve medical attention.
What isn't clear to me from what happened here is how many seconds and how still and quiet he was.Hard to know what I'd do,as those factors would determine my response if it were me in that situation.Was it a near drowning or a short dunk?Thats the question.

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 10:58:31

Charis Dialysis and lung infection sound really scary. Do you think he should be seen even though he seems ok?

not if he didn't inhale, the damage is done by fresh water entering the blood directly through the lungs. Fresh water is pretty toxic to humans, so if swallowed is normally peed out, but in a controlled way. Inhaling it is totally uncontrolled.

lung infections are something to watch out for, but unlikely if you were in a swimming pool, chlorine, etc.

MrsReiver Tue 11-Aug-15 11:00:15

Charis - have you got a link to any info on that? It was my understanding that secondary drowining in salt water took longer, but ultimately was more likely to be fatal.

Am genuinely curious and happy to be proved wrong ��

confusedandemployed Tue 11-Aug-15 11:03:35

Phew I'm relieved to hear it is freshwater only. We were in the sea.

What about swimming pools? Will the chlorine remove the danger?

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 11-Aug-15 11:04:01

I think secondary drowning can happen in saltwater (but I am sport background rather than medical)

ThatBloodyWoman Tue 11-Aug-15 11:05:48

Chlorine doesn't remove the risk of secondary drowning -you're just less likely to get infections than in,say,river water.

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 11:08:48

Chlorine doesn't remove the risk of secondary drowning no one said it did, it reduces the risk of tertiary drowning, death from lung infection after inhaling water.

SoOverItNow Tue 11-Aug-15 11:08:55

I took my eyes away for 5, 10 he could have been underwater 10, 20. I'm really not certain, it was like slow motion to me.

When he came to the surface he wasn't spluttering or coughing. He was breathing but was very still and quiet. He did gag, like he wanted to be sick but wasn't. The water had chlorine in it.

Charis1 Tue 11-Aug-15 11:09:59

Charis - have you got a link to any info on that? any standard school biology text book.

MrsReiver Tue 11-Aug-15 11:11:15

Just a quick google brought this up

"It occurred more rapidly after immersion in fresh water. The two children immersed in salt water died of secondary drowning, while the three immersed in fresh water recovered completely. "

MrsReiver Tue 11-Aug-15 11:13:03

Yeah, I don't happen to have one handy right now, but I've found plenty info online about secondary drowning after submersion in saltwater thanks.

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