Dry drowning a concern in the summertime

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Summer time means the pools are open again, and parents like Valarie Wald are outside wondering if their kids are safe.

"Are they going to go down, am I going to have to go in and rescue them you know I think it's a fear of all parents, what if?" said Wald.

Valarie's kids know how to swim, but the danger of drowning could follow them out of the pool, something she's never heard of.

"It's a concern now. You associate drowning with being in the pool itself and that you go under the water," said Wald.

Dry and secondary drowning happens after a person has been exposed to the water. Dr. Scot Mickelson with CHI St. Alexius explains the difference between the two.

"Dry drowning is when water comes into contact with the voicebox. It can be quite sudden, there is a spasm within the vocal cords and can lead to respiratory distress and possibly death. Secondary drowning happens when a child or even an adult inhales water and the water deposits within the lungs," said Mickelson.

Dry drowning is rare, accounting for only 1-2 percent of drowning deaths. Doctor Mickelson says a vigilant parent is the best prevention.

“You know just practice common sense water safety. If you have a young child, make sure that you are always watching and keeping an eye on them, even in small pools. I mean these are things you got to watch out for.” said Mickelson.

The Centers for Disease Control say drowning is one of the top 10 leading causes of death for children in every region of the world.