“Dry Drowning” – What Parents Need to Know

“Dry Drowning” – What Parents Need to Know

As if the idea of drowning didn’t strike enough fear into the heart of every parent, recent news headlines and social media posts have brought a new term to the forefront…”dry drowning.”  You might be thinking, “Well of course my kiddo has had a cough a time or two after their face inadvertently went into the water. Is this something to worry about?”  Here is what parents need to know about so called “dry drowning.” What is “dry drowning”? To get scientific, there are actually two entities here: Dry drowning- This occurs when a small amount of water gets into the nose or mouth, and this water causes a sudden spasm of the airway where it shuts close.  It is almost like the airway is “over protecting” itself from the water that isn’t supposed to be there.  With dry drowning, there is no water in the lungs.  In these cases, you will see symptoms almost immediately after the water gets into the airway (the airway will not spasm if the water isn’t there). Delayed or Secondary drowning- In delayed drowning, a child inhales a bit of water through their nose or mouth, and the water actually does make it down into their lungs.  Once in the lungs, the water begins to cause significant irritation and inflammation (after all, water is not supposed to be in our lungs) which leads to something called pulmonary edema.  This can occur anywhere from 1-24 hours after the initial inhaling of the water. You can see that while these two terms mean something different from a medical standpoint, the term “dry drowning” is often...
From the Archives…Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

From the Archives…Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

It is something that parents do on an almost daily basis, and you probably don’t think twice about it.  Putting your kiddos into their car seat when you head out on the road.  But did you know that studies estimate that 75% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly?!! Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children 1 to 13 years of age.  This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, so over the next few posts, I hope to answer some of the most important questions parents may have about car seats.  Today, we will focus on perhaps the biggest “error” I see parents making…turning their child forward facing too soon.   The American Academy of Pediatrics along with every car safety organization now recommends that ALL children remain rear-facing until AT LEAST 2 years of age.  In fact, children can remain rear-facing until they reach the height and weight limit for the specific car seat in the rear-facing position.  In most cases, the weight limit will be between 35-40 pounds (some even up to 45 pounds), and the height limit is the same for all car seats- the top of the child’s head should be at least 1 inch below the top of the car seat.  Many parents, websites, and most state laws still cite the out-dated recommendation for rear-facing only until 1 year of age or 20 pounds.  However, this recommendation was changed more than 4 years ago. “In a front-end collision, can you imagine putting 25% of your body weight as a rapid forward, force onto your delicate spine?” So what is...
The Unintentional Deadly Oven

The Unintentional Deadly Oven

It is a heartbreaking headline that we see each and every summer…”Infant dies after being left in car.”  It happened just this week here in Baton Rouge when an 8 month old died after being left in a car for over 2 hours.  On average 37 children die each year in the US as a result of being left in a hot vehicle.  Already this year, there have been 11 children to die in hot cars which is a 275% increase compared to this time last year.  As a parent, it is gut-wrenching and nauseating to even consider that such a tragedy could ever happen to you, but in the vast majority of these cases, these tragedies strike in very loving, caring and “typical” families.  Some may say “I could never forget my child, that just wouldn’t happen,” but can you guarantee that? How many mornings do you leave your house and in a forgetful moment, think “Did I close the garage/turn off the coffee pot/lock the door?”  How many times have you been preoccupied with thinking about a major presentation on the way to work?  Have you gotten on your phone on your drive into work and become consumed with your conversation?  And how many times has your usual morning routine been rerouted for one of a hundred different reasons?  It is typically a change in usual routine or a distraction that can be the culprit of forgetting about precious cargo.  Perhaps Daddy is in charge of morning drop off when he usually just heads into work, or maybe you have a sick little one who is staying...
From the Archives: How we almost became a drowning statistic

From the Archives: How we almost became a drowning statistic

  This is the most important article that I have ever written for this blog.  It was also the most difficult to write.  Exactly one year ago today, I published this post, and as I sit here reading it today, I get a lump in my throat and tears are streaming down my face.  I remember the day this happened like it was yesterday. I remember the swimsuit my son was wearing…it was black and red and had “Cars” characters on the rash guard and trunks.  To this day, I am terrified of children drowning…my children, the children of my friends and family, and all of the precious children I am honored to care for in my practice.  If I could pick one of my postings for every parent to read, without question, this would be it.  Read it, share it, and if one life is saved, I have achieved my goal. Originally posted May 26, 2015 It was our first swim of last summer. Mr. J (3 at the time) and Miss M (2 at the time) could hardly wait.  They had gotten suited up and each had waited their turn to get their sunscreen applied.  During their “wait time” to let the sunscreen soak in, Miss M was sitting right next to me on the porch while Mr. J wanted to sit on the top step of the pool and make “handprint art” with the pool water.  Standing about 10 feet from the pool steps, I applied my own sunscreen and was a bit distracted by Miss M explaining something about her princess pool toys for all...
Which car seat is right for your child?

Which car seat is right for your child?

  Everyone likes options when shopping.  Man, it would be a bad shopping trip if there was just one pair of heels, one pair of boots and one pair of flats to pick from.  Sometimes though, there are so many options that things can get confusing.  So is the case when it comes to car seats…do you need an infant carrier? What exactly is a convertible car seat? Are booster seats really needed for children?  Read on to learn about each of these options that you will encounter while shopping the car seat aisles. Infant car seat Typical weight range: 5 lbs up to 22lbs (although some seats go up to 35lbs) Direction in the car: Rear-facing only As the name suggests, this type of car seat is intended for newborns and infants.  These car seats have a carrying handle, and the entire seat clicks into a base that is fastened into the car. There is a five-point harness buckle system which includes straps that originate at each shoulder, at each hip and one between the legs.   Pros:  For newborns and young infants, being able to move your sleeping baby from the car without having to wrestle with all of those straps and buckles and simply just “lift” them out of the car is a huge benefit (as any parent knows, if at all possible, let sleeping babies lie).  Also, many infant carriers can be snapped into various stroller and swing bases.   Cons: For many families the next “level” of car seat will be needed somewhere between 9-12 months of age.  In my mind, there is really...
Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

Happy Child Passenger Safety Week- Are you in the 75%?

It is something that parents do on an almost daily basis, and you probably don’t think twice about it.  Putting your kiddos into their car seat when you head out on the road.  But did you know that studies estimate that 75% of car seats are installed or used incorrectly?!! Car crashes are the leading cause of death in children 1 to 13 years of age.  This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, so over the next few posts, I hope to answer some of the most important questions parents may have about car seats.  Today, we will focus on perhaps the biggest “error” I see parents making…turning their child forward facing too soon.   The American Academy of Pediatrics along with every car safety organization now recommends that ALL children remain rear-facing until AT LEAST 2 years of age.  In fact, children can remain rear-facing until they reach the height and weight limit for the specific car seat in the rear-facing position.  In most cases, the weight limit will be between 35-40 pounds (some even up to 45 pounds), and the height limit is the same for all car seats- the top of the child’s head should be at least 1 inch below the top of the car seat.  Many parents, websites, and most state laws still cite the out-dated recommendation for rear-facing only until 1 year of age or 20 pounds.  However, this recommendation was changed more than 4 years ago. “In a front-end collision, can you imagine putting 25% of your body weight as a rapid forward, force onto your delicate spine?” So what is...