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Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: breathe in water


 mom123 - Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:39 pm

my 10 month old boy likes to put his face under water and breathe in water. He chokes and can not breath for a while but he'll do it again. Is it dangerous? Should I try to stop him from doing it or is it ok ?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:22 pm

User avatar Hi Mom123,

Generally, the vocal cords will spasm closed when water hits them causing actual inhalation of water to be minimal. However, if he's choking when doing this he is causing at least a temporary occlusion of his airway. There is a possibility that water could get further down into his lungs and cause some problems, or more concerning, it could potentially more significantly block his airway.

The risk is probably low that anything severe would happen from this but it is best not to take the chance since the consequences of such severe things is high. I would advise against letting him do this.

Best wishes.

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