Dry Drowning: Knowing the signs could save your child’s life

Dry Drowning and Delayed Drowning Defined

Arthur E. Benjamin
2 min readSep 1, 2021

Founder of the nonprofit effort, Action to End Drowning, Arthur Benjamin, Palm Beach Philanthropist, shares 2 crucial definitions. Understanding these two issues of dry drowning and delayed drowning can make a world of difference in preventing drowning incidents.

What is Dry Drowning?

Dry drowning occurs when water never reaches the lungs, but is still breathed in. The water ends up trapped in the airways, causing the vocal cords to spasm and even potentially close. What’s important to know about dry drowning is that the symptoms can persist, even after coming out of the water. You may not realize that you, or your child, is experiencing dry drowning. That’s why it is crucial to pay attention to key symptoms and signs of dry drowning after you’ve come out of the water.

Symptoms to look out for include: fatigue, vomiting, coughing, congestion and fast or heavy breathing.

What is Delayed Drowning?

Similar to dry drowning, delayed drowning is something that occurs after you or your child has already left the water. In fact, typically, delayed drowning occurs within 24 hours of being in the water. Though extremely rare, this occurs when water enters through the mouth or nose and causes the airway to close. This may not be initially noticeable, especially if the affected person is a young child or nonverbal individual who is unable to express their symptoms in words.

Symptoms to look for include: coughing, chest pain, irritability, forgetfulness, low energy, vomiting and difficulty breathing.



Arthur E. Benjamin

Arthur Benjamin Palm Beach Philanthropist & Entrepreneur, recently launched nonprofit: Action to End Drowning. http://socialcareerbuilder.com/arthur-e-benjamin/