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This 4-year-old almost died from 'dry drowning' — should parents worry?

News that a 4-year-old came close to death days after ingesting water in a swimming pool has, understandably, rattled the internet. “Dry drowning” — as it’s often referred to in these stories — seems to captivate and terrify parents in equal measure. The stories are, admittedly, harrowing. But an ER doctor tells Yahoo Lifestyle that on top of being incredibly rare, these accidents are treatable. “‘Dry drowning’ is not a medical term, there’s technically no thing as dry drowning,” Dabby tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I think what [parents] are concerned about is when a kid aspirates fluid into their lungs. This is very rare, and there’s a lot of confusion about it, so it’s good to educate.” She points out that if a child ends up taking on fluid in the lungs, symptoms usually appear in six to eight hours. For parents who are concerned, Dabby recommends first making sure that kids are never unattended in the pool (“No. 1 is preventative.”). But if an incident does occur, parents should look for signs that a child is having trouble breathing. “If symptoms are present, it’s imperative to go in right away,” says Dabby. “That way we can provide care as soon as possible.”