12 answers

Question About 2 Year Falling Under Water

My son who is 27 months old, does not yet know how to swim and this weekend has was in a kiddie pool however it was at least 6" of water and he fell and his whole head went under. I picked him up as fast as I could and all he did was cry a little as I think it scared him. He did not seem to choke on water or anything, but I have read about the fact that maybe he could have gotten water in his lungs and thate it could be damaging. Anyone know anything about this? He was only under for probably 5-10 seconds, although of course, to me, it seemed like minutes or forever!

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So What Happened?™

It turns out he is fine and I would like to thank everyone for their help and advice. This is a great website!

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My sister bought a 2 1/2 feet pool and my son who is only 20 months always fall under the water. I think if you just listen to his breathing and if it sounds normal then nothings wrong. he'll be alright. all kids even adults fall under water and get water in their lungs, but they're all fine. I wouldn't worry to much about it. I think him falling under scared you more then him. He'll be fine!

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i am an rn that has worked in pediatric icu. he should be perfectly fine, if he did not stop breathing, if you did nit have to do anything to get him to cry again, i doubt any water got into his lungs. you usually see this when the child has been under water for longer time. just watch him, if you feel he is breathing differently call your doctor, but i feel he should be fine. hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful

G., I googled your question because I have a two year old also and I had never heard of that possibility before. He too has tumbled into the baby pool before. The two articles I came across both discussed near-drowning incidents with toddlers, but I don't think your son's situation fit the definition of near drowning. What I learned in my son's toddler water readiness class w/parks and rec, which was repeated in the articles I found regarding drowning, is that upon an unexpected submersion, the baby automatically holds his breath. He will continue to do so until he can't anymore, that's when they are in danger of inhaling water. It sounds to me like you rescued him quickly enough that he did not aspirate. Also, a few of the times I submerged Owen in swim class, he was not expecting it and gasped, choked and sputtered a bit afterwards, but was essentially fine. If your son was not forcefully exhaling water or gasping for air, I think you caught him in time and he will be fine. Hopefully you'll get a response from a nurse though because I'm curious about this issue too.

1 mom found this helpful

My kids did the Infant Swim Research program (same as the Safe Start at the Y) and they swallowed tons of water learning to float/swim. He should be fine. Just keep an eye on him for strange breathing or behavior, but our kids swallow/suck in tons of water learning to swim so keep that in mind.

1 mom found this helpful

I was a swim instructor and life guard, and taught infant/toddler swimming (my daughter was jumping into the pool and ‘kick and digging’ to the side by 18 months). When they're young, around 12 months, you first teach them by counting to 3 (to give them something to go by to teach them to hold their breath) and putting them under the water. To hold your breath when you first go under water is a natural instinct, so for those 5 seconds he was in survival mode and didn’t inhale. Living in Florida, where pools (from paddling to inground) are unavoidable, it is so important to teach your kids how to swim, or at least keep their head above water.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi G.,
I'm a 45 year old mom of 2 boys, 10 & 13. I know how scary events like that can be, and believe me when I say with a boy there will probably be more to come. The way you describe what happened, I don't think your son was under the water long enough to do any harm. What you can do however, is watch to see if he develops a new cough/fever or both, and if so, take him to the doctor for an evaluation. It probably ended being more frightening for you than your son. Please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions.

I honestly wouldn't worry about it i have been taking my kids to the beach since they were 6 months old and every one of them has gotten knocked over by a wave in the shallows and nothing ever came of it, they by nature hold their breaths for short periods of time. its when they are under for longer periods that they will inhale water. mine have always been introduced to water early and each has gotten dunked. if he is not showing problems within minutes then he should be ok if however in a few days he starts showing signs of reseritory distress take him to the Dr because he may have gotten some down there but the only case i know of that happening the child had undiagnosed asthma and he would get a smal amount of water and he got pnemonia (sp) if all seems well he should be ok.

My sister bought a 2 1/2 feet pool and my son who is only 20 months always fall under the water. I think if you just listen to his breathing and if it sounds normal then nothings wrong. he'll be alright. all kids even adults fall under water and get water in their lungs, but they're all fine. I wouldn't worry to much about it. I think him falling under scared you more then him. He'll be fine!


So sorry to hear about your scare. My son has never fallen into a pool, he is 18 months old. It would scare me to death. I'm not sure hoe he would react. He seems to teach himself to swim in the bathtub though (freaks me out). I keep a close eye and am constantly pulling him out of the bathtub out of fear. He will repeatedly lay on his stomach and submerge his head under water to hold his breath as long as he can. I don't know where he learned to do this or if it is just natural. He has also taught himself to float in the bathtub and seems to be working on swimming. He will be on his stomach holding his breath under water kicking his legs or making himself go from one end of the tub to the other by pushing off with his feet. I think that most kids have a natural instinct with holding their breath though. I would recommend some extra bath time to allow your child be more aware of the water or swimming lessons.

Im a little stunned reading how some babies can put their heads under the water in teh bathtub. That seemed to me like a serious threat. I never put any more water in the tub that went above her crotch. We have a pool also, so Im glad i read the other tips as well. :)

Please check out www.infantswim.com it could save your childs life. It also builds confidence and gives you peace of mind.

Don't worry unless you notice him having respiratory symtons, such as rattling in his chest and sudden onset of a fever. All of us at one time or another have had a child to go under the water for a few seconds. My grandchildren put theirs under the water to drink it, can you believe that? But of course we put a stop to that when we found it out.

Hi G.. I'm so sorry you had such a scare with your little boy. I wanted to let you know about ISR (Infant Swimming Resource). They have highly trained instructors to teach babies survival skills if they fall into water. I enrolled my daughter this past summer at 22 months and she learned to float within 3 weeks! I am still extremely careful any time we are near any type of water, but I know if she were to fall in, I would have a few extra precious seconds to retrieve her. Please look at the business reviews and you will see several ISR instructors listed. I live in the New Tampa area and my daughter's instructor was Emma Grynbal. Her email is ____@____.com. After a friend lost her 2yr. old daughter to a drowning, I encourage all mothers to consider these valuable lessons. As you now know, it can happen THAT fast! Best of luck to you!

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