What is dry drowning?


Another tragic “dry drowning” reminds us to share the risks and to encourage all parents to know how to administer CPR in the event of an emergency. 
Click here to read about the 4 year old Texan boy who tragically died from dry drowning.

“Dry drowning” or “Secondary drowning” are not widely understood and while extremely rare, are more common in children than adults.  While they are slightly different, both have the same signs and symptoms and both occur usually after a someone has had problems in the water.

Some of the the signs and symptoms of both dry drowning and secondary drowning can develop hours after being in water.  They include:

  • Coughing
  • Throwing up
  • Chest pain
  • Trouble breathing
  • Feeling extremely tired
  • Physical changes. For example; blue lips or pale skin.
  • Changes in behaviour.  For example irritability,  forgetfulness, being argumentative or combative and crankiness.

If your child has any signs of dry drowning and secondary drowning, get medical help.  It’s important they get checked out.

In order to help protect your child, follow these tips:

Supervise – Always watch closely when your child is in or around water.  Be within arms reach and never let your child swim alone.  Also be sure to enforce pool safety rules.

Water safety measures – Ensure you are taking all relevant safety measures.  For example, children should wear floatation devices on boats, pools should have four-sided fencing around them and make sure there is no water dangers able to be accessed by a child.

Choose swimming locations wisely – Only allow swimming in areas that have lifeguards.

Learn to swim – Children who are comfortable and skilled in the water are less likely to go under and take in water.

Know how to administer CPR – We can’t stress strongly enough how early intervention with CPR can help save lives and is a vital skill for all parents.

While these types of drownings are rare, it is important to raise awareness within the community and work towards preventing these tragedies.

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Want to know more, or have a specific question?

Why Swimland?

What is a Deck Supervisor?

Deck Supervisors are the super friendly staff in the red shirts on pool deck. They are there to answer any questions you have about your swimmer‘s progress or about our program and to support our teachers to provide great lessons. They love to talk swimming, so please go and see them if you have any queries.

Why do we use teaching aids?

There are many ways to teach children about safety in water. Our approach, using flotation as a teaching aid, has produced excellent results.

It is proven that low stress levels increase coordination, so at Swimland, we encourage low stress with the use of teaching aids (floaties, back bubbles, kickboards, noodles etc). As a child becomes more confident, and therefore less stressed, we reduce the amount of teaching aids the child uses. We have also found that swimmers who are less stressed progress faster.

Our swimmers still have plenty of aid-free time, and we practise safety circles to teach the children how to swim back to the edge of the pool without help in case they were to fall in.

How often should my child come to swimming lessons?

Coming to swimming lessons once a week, on a year round basis, is awesome for swimmer progress. Swimming every week, all year round, will see your child really develop and get the most out of the fun programs we offer.


How long does it take to learn to swim?

On average, it takes around 20 lessons to achieve the next certificate, but sometimes it can take a little longer. Every child is different, and it’s important for parents to remember that some skills will come easily to their child while others will be a little more challenging.

If your swimmer has been at the same level for a while or is finding a skill a little difficult, our Deck Supervisor will talk to you about some strategies to help them move forward and will be working with your teacher to ensure your swimmer continues to progress. At Swimland, we will always offer extra support to those who need it.

How do I contact my child’s teacher?

Our Deck Supervisors constantly monitor the progress of all children participating in lessons. They are a great resource for parents who want regular updates, as they have the experience and, importantly, the time to answer any questions you may have. The Deck supervisor can also chat with the teacher about any specific queries you may have and get back to you with the answer.

What should I bring to swimming lessons?

We provide all of the equipment and teaching aids you and your child need to have a great, fun lesson. All you need to bring is bathers, a towel and goggles for swimmers at Maxi-Pink level or above

Little ones under three should also wear either a swim nappy or swim wear that is firm fitting around the legs.