FOCUS T25®-My Workout Journey

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Focus T-25

After 2 kids and lots of Chinese food (my fave!), I had pretty much conceded to the fact that it’s ok for me to walk around with some extra poundage. And of course it is, no question about that.  But personally, I’ve been feeling more fatigued lately, and not as good about myself as I did in my lighter days. So after months of telling myself that I need to get my butt in gear and start working out, and a post from my high school classmate reminding me that my 20 year reunion is coming up next year (Yikes!) I finally made my move.  I had researched Camp Gladiator programs, Kickboxing classes, etc but knowing me, with the crazy schedules we have it would be too easy for me to find an excuse to not make a class.  So instead, I decided to drudge up my Beachbody DVDs that I had so excitedly ordered years ago. I have a nice collection including P90®, P90X®, Insanity®, and FOCUS T25® which are in practically pristine condition due to lack of use.  I decided that with my current level of motivation and energy level, the least amount of time I have to spend on each workout would be my best bet. FOCUS T25® it is! According to the creator, Shaun T, “It’s short. It’s intense. And the results? Just ridiculous.”  Well sign me up Shaun T because I am ready for some ridiculous results! According to the their website, it is a “full body workout in 25 minutes with zero rest. The focus interval training works every muscle group in your body-one after the other-then it works it again. No BS…just amazing results.” Ok, Shaun T…Let’s do this!  I invite you to share my journey with me. I will check in periodically with my progress in hopes to motivate not only myself but any other moms out there that are in need of a workout program that fits their schedule. It is important to know that I am not receiving any endorsement from Beachbody for my posts and these are my opinions and my opinions alone. Here we go!

Week 1

Day 1: I began with my weigh-in and measurements. There was a time when I would have had to be tortured before sharing this precious info with the public but motherhood has left me with no shame.

  • Weight-154 lbs
  • Chest-39.5 in
  • Waist-39.5 in
  • Hips-40.5 in
  • Bicep-12 in
  • Thigh-21.5 in

If you are following the workout guide they provide, the first video in the set is the Alpha Cycle Cardio, “25 minutes of calorie-burning, sweat-drenching cardio.” Jackson and Bailey decided to join me for this. Not only did they have fun attempting the exercises, but also like pointed out all the “jiggly parts” on mommy.  Nothing like a jolt to your self-esteem like children pointing out your flaws and holding nothing back. So with a toddler stepping in between my legs for every lunge and a 6 yr old asking me if his muscles were getting bigger ever 5 minutes, I pushed on to complete my first video. Lots of sweat and a good feeling of accomplishment in the end.

Day 2: Alpha Cycle Speed 1.0, “Ignite your quickness. Burn the fat. Fast-Paced for fast results.”  This one was a lot of fun. Burst of movement mixed in with stretching and flexibility exercises (aka,  1 min stretching rests in between).  This incorporated some kickboxing moves that were familiar from my younger days.  Fun stuff.

Day 3: Alpha Cycle Total Body Circuit, “Focus on strength and resistance-without lifting a single weight.”.  I highly recommend a mat or something to help with your grip. There is a lot of floor exercises and variations of push ups in this one so you’re gonna need something to cushion your knees and keep your grip.

Day 4: Alpha Cycle Ab Intervals, “Get a shredded core with this interval-based fat-burning routine.” Not a fan of this one, but I can tell it’s gonna work. I felt pain in places of my stomach and back I’ve never felt before.

Day 5 (Duble Day): Alpha Cycle Lower Focus, “Focus on your lower-body muscles-the key to burning fat.”  My legs were on fire throughout the whole video and weak and wobbly the rest of the night. Day 5 is when you are supposed to do a double workout by adding Cardio in as well but yeah…that didn’t happen.  I eventually made up for the extra workout on Sunday.

Day 6: Stretch, “After 5 days of FOCUS T25, this routine will be your new best friend.” I must admit that I never made it to this one last week but I plan to try it next week. I have horrible discipline when it comes to stretching.

This cycle incorporates the same 6 workouts but mixes up the order for four more weeks before moving on to the Beta Cycle. I will post updates periodically and let you know how I’m progressing!

Stay tuned for updates on my journey. I would love to hear from any of you that have either used this program or chronicled your own journey with any similar programs.

August Birchbox Review

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 August Birchbox Review

Whoa baby did I hit the mother lode with this month’s box! I think Birchbox must be consoling us for the tragic end of summer because they packed some of their best products this time! I am loving all my goodies so much! Birchbox is an online service that mails you several samples (usually 4-5) of high quality beauty products, including make up, hair care, skin care, perfume, etc. in a super cute box each month. It includes an information card with the price and product description of everything you get in case you fall in love with something and want to buy the full size. Before you receive your first month’s box, you are able to go to and personalize your interests so they have an idea of what type of products to send you. Super cool and fun to see what you get. Take a peak at my end of summer treats! 

Rating Scale

Not My Style        Take It or Leave It      Must Have

Davines Your Hair Assistant Blowdry Primer  Davines Your Hair Assistant Blowdry Primer-Full Size, $34

Must Have -Va Va Voom! I had delicious volume after I used this little beauty. They also added a bonus cleaner and conditioner product as well! I can’t stop flipping my hair and pretending I’m one of Charlie’s Angels!

   derma e® Purifying Daily Detox Scrub derma e® Purifying Daily Detox Scrub-Full Size, 15.50

Must Have – If I knew that charcoal was this effective on your skin I would have visited my BBQ grill a long time ago!  It immediately gave me a feeling as if I had just stuck my head in the freezer…but in a good way. Very refreshing with no oily residue left behind. $15.50 is a great price for the full size too!

Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask™ Liz Earle Brightening Treatment Mask™ -Full Size, $24

Must Have – 6 years of kids has definitely put some mileage on my face. The dark circles under my eyes and dark spots have put up a fight against every age reversal cream I have tried. But this left me looking much brighter and more energized. It even came with a “pure muslin cloth” to wipe away after you rinse.  I think my chic raccoon look may be a thing of the past!

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Day-Dream PaletteManna Kadar Cosmetics Day-Dream Palette-Full Size, $25

Must Have – This sample actually only came with the bronzer and highlighter so don’t let the pic fool you. And it became clear very quickly that I had no idea how to correctly apply a bronzer/highlighter duo on my first try.  But after several attempts of me looking like something from the Amazon and a couple of YouTube videos I am now an expert. It gives me a kiss of sun and adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to my cheekbones.

  stila Matte About You Liquid Lipstick Trio stila Stay All Day™ Liquid Lipstick-Patina-Full Size Trio, $20

Must Have – Love love love this! This goes on smooth like a lip gloss and lasts all day like a stain.  I don’t ever think I’ve had lipstick stay on this long that didn’t look like something that came out of the Joker’s makeup bag. Fantastic!


I highly recommend all of these products!!

Have you ever tried any of them? Share your comments with me!

Back to School: Tips on Making the Transition Easy for your Family

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Back to School

Another summer has come and gone and it’s time to start gearing up for school again.  Bailey’s routine was not altered too much during the last few months, but Jackson split time between staying with his Grandpa, Nana and Pop, and the occasional day at my office. While every effort was made to keep up the reading, writing, and arithmetic during the break, I must admit, we had some slacking.  The days were pretty lax and void of much structure I’m afraid so now we frantically scramble to restore order among the chaos. Earlier bedtimes will lead to earlier mornings. Better eating habits and less screen time are a must. But how do we make the transition as smooth as possible for all of us?  Here are a few tips I found at

Get back in the habit of healthy eating.  If you let your kids indulge a little over the summer, start swapping chips and sweet snacks for fresh fruits and veggies before school starts. Explain to your child that school lunches and snacks will not consist of junk so they need to get used to eating better now.  The reduction of sugary snacks will help to keep your kids from having a sugar induced energy crash mid-morning or in the afternoon.

Talk to your child about any anxiety they may have.   Everyone has a little touch of nervousness or worry before they start anything new. No matter how cool or popular you are, or how many friends you have, there is always a fear of the unknown.  Talk to your child in a playful way about all the new things they will get to try or people they will meet. It also helps to reflect back on your experiences as a child as well so they can see that you went through all the same things they are having to face. And you turned out just fine!

Get in the practice of changing your schedules before school starts. A week or two before the big day, start adjusting your child’s bedtime (and yours!) by about 10 minutes every day. Put them to bed and wake them up 10 minutes earlier every day until they’re not struggling with the new times. That way, when school actually starts they’re not big grumpy heads and you’re not screaming for a 3rd cup of coffee!!

Make time to talk to your child about their day. I touched on some tips on how to do this in my post 5 Ways to Reconnect with your Family While Managing a Crazy Schedule.  It’s important that you don’t just skim the highlights and really dig into the fun stuff (or even the not so fun stuff) about their day. “Tell me how Dodge ball is played and who all was on your team?” or “Who had the craziest thing for lunch today?”.  This gets them talking, and hopefully excited, about what kind of cool stuff can happen tomorrow.

How do you help your family prepare for the new school year? Share your comments with me!



July Birchbox Review

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 To somewhere tropical

July’s Birchbox was kind of hit and miss.  I’ve definitely had boxes packed with cooler samples.  I didn’t really dislike anything, just not willing to pay full price for many of the products. Birchbox is an online service that mails you several samples (usually 4-5) of high quality beauty products, including make up, hair care, skin care, perfume, etc. in a super cute box each month. It includes an information card with the price and product description of everything you get in case you fall in love with something and want to buy the full size. Before you receive your first month’s box, you are able to go to and personalize your interests so they have an idea of what type of products to send you. Super cool and fun to see what you get. Here’s all the things I got this month along with how I would rate them! 

Rating Scale

Not My Style        Take It or Leave It      Must Have

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate - 2.5 oz. Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate -Full Size, $58

Take It or Leave It -I think this is one of those products that you have to use a while before you start seeing major results. I have noticed my face feels a little tighter since I’ve been using it. Whether or not other people have noticed is another story. $58 for the full size though? No thank you…not in my beauty budget.

   L'Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse Eau de Parfum - 50 mlL’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse Eau de Parfum-Full Size, $120-165

Take It or Leave It -This supposedly makes me smell like a “secret summer night in Paris”.  As I’ve never been to Paris in any season, I cannot confirm this but it is a pretty and delicate scent. Again though, I would never pay that much for the full size.

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar SolutionMarcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Solution-Full Size, $21

Not My Style -This sample size actually came at a really good time. I was in need of a smaller bottle of astringent to pack on our trip so this was perfectly compact. I was not, however, as excited about the oily residue it left on my face.  It also did not remove my eye make-up as well as my current $4.99 bottle of remover I get at the grocery store. So while it was temporarily convenient, I won’t be switching from my trusted brands.

MDSolarSciences™ Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 MDSolarSciences™ Daily Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30-Full Size, $68

Not My Style -Again this takes a while to start seeing the difference.  And honestly, I don’t know if I would be able to tell a difference between this moisturizer and any others. So I’m not willing to pay almost $70 for it without knowing that it immediately makes me look like I did when I was 20. 

  Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara-Full Size, $22

Must Have -I’m a mascara junky and I’m always looking for a tube that makes my eyes poppin’ and noticeable without clumping up my lashes. This really hit the mark! I love it and I would absolutely splurge for the full size when I run out of this one!


Have you ever tried any of these products? Share your comments with me!

“Bats and Sea Lions and Whales…Oh My!”

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Thanks to a work conference that brought me to Austin last week, I was able to bring Jake and the kids along for a little mini vacation.  Surprisingly, this trip was void of any emergency room visits or hotel mishaps so we actually had a pretty enjoyable time. I will say that road trips are becoming much louder with Bailey turning 2. She is extremely verbal and very demanding.  Jackson tends to egg her on quite a bit so that doesn’t help much. By the end of the trip home Jake and I were wondering when we could schedule our own vacation!  But despite the scorching Texas heat and crowds pretty much everywhere we went, we had a lot of fun.


IMG_3886 This was a work day for me in Austin so Jake was solo with the kids. First stop was the Texas Peace Officer’s Memorial. For those of you who don’t know, this wall lists all the names of Texas Peace Officers that have been killed in the line of duty.  In light of all of the recent tragedies, it was very important for Jake to teach Jackson what this memorial was all about. Jackson knows the risks that daddy takes everyday when he puts on his badge and leaves the house and he understands the losses that Texas and Louisiana have just been through.   Next, they walked around the outside of the State Capitol looking at all the statues and then spent some time learning and playing at The Thinkery, Austin’s children’s museum.  Pretty cool place with water and light activities. The kids had a blast and it was a welcome break from the heat! IMG_3887


That evening, we all decided to brave the Bat Bridge. I had seen this in one of Jackson’s books and had no idea what it was all about so we decided to do some research.  According to Bat Conservation International,  1.5 million bats emerge from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge in search of food.  The crevices beneath the bridge make for an ideal bat roost.  The Austin bats eat from 10,000 to 20,000 pounds of insects, including agricultural pests.  The population under the Congress Avenue Bridge is the largest urban bat colony in North America. With up to 1.5 million bats spiraling into the summer skies, Austin now has one of the most unusual and fascinating tourist attractions anywhere.  Around 8:40 that night, the bats emerged!  At first it was a little difficult to see them from our location since they are small Mexican free-tailed bats.  But soon, they began to fly out in masses.  We were told not to panic if they swoop at you.  Um, yeah ok.  I was skeptical at first but I must admit the sight was quite amazing. Creepy and stinky, but definitely amazing. Not many people can say that they watched millions of bats fly right by you on their way to feed!


Another work day for me so Jake spent the morning swimming with the kids and resting in the hotel waiting on me to get done so we could drive down to San Antonio. We bought a Sea World vacation package which included tickets to the park and 2 nights at a Sea World affiliated hotel. IMG_3905That evening, we decided to visit the Alamo and the River Walk. Explaining Texas History to a 6 yr old is a lot more challenging then you think, especially when you can’t remember half of it yourself! Jake was my salvation there. He’s like a walking history book.  Again, the heat was unbearable but we were able to cool off for a bit at the Rain Forest Café on the River Walk. Always a hit with the kids.

We took the Rio Cruise boat ride where we got to hear all about where the movies Selena, Miss Congeniality, and Cloak and Dagger were filmed.  This is about the 5th time Jake and have been on this ride so we could pretty much recite the tour guide’s spiel word for word.  But the kids had a lot of fun watching the ducks and looking at the tall buildings. Bailey had a small meltdown as it was now 2 hours past her normal bedtime. This resulted in her throwing Cha Cha the frog, a plastic version of the Rain Forest Café mascot across the boat where it landed on the edge of the platform.  It was too far for us to reach and we couldn’t stand up to get it per the rules of the boat so needless to say there were some tense moments where Cha Cha was at risk of being Frog Overboard!  But alas, the boat ride ended without casualties and Cha Cha was rescued upon our departure. IMG_3910 (2)


We set off to conquer Sea World right when the park opened in order to avoid crowds. While this was a valiant effort on our part, it was already crazy packed by the time we got there. My OCD tendencies quickly began to kick in and I wanted to find a map so we could start planning our routes, shows, and meal breaks in order to maximize our experience there. We started off with a visit to the sharks and dolphin viewing area. I was much more impressed by the dolphins then the sharks. They had staff positioned along the wall of the tank providing tips and information as the dolphins swam about. IMG_3925 (2)We had to book it to Shamu Stadium by 12:00 for One Ocean®, one of the two Killer Whale shows there.  One of the perks of our vacation package was reserved seating for all the shows. An absolute lifesaver for us! I would highly recommend upgrading to this if you plan to visit the park during peak vacation times.  Due to the recent concerns about whales in captivity and the tragic deaths of some trainers, they no longer breed killer whales and the trainers are not in the tank swimming with them like they used to. But, it was still fun watching the kids’s faces when the whales would emerge to jump, and wave their tales and fins on demand. No splash zone for us though.  I had a horrifying experience when I was in college where I volunteered to be a part of the show and Shamu spit water and fish all over me. Funny to the audience, traumatic and disgusting for me!!  I vowed I would never let my kids be splashed with fishy tank water as long as I could control their actions!

Next, we trucked it over to the Beluga Stadium to watch Azul® , a beautiful show which incorporates acrobats, professional divers, parrots, dolphins, and beluga whales. This was a must see since Bailey is currently addicted to Raffi’s Baby Beluga song. This was our favorite show and the artistry and actors make it very entertaining to watch. The show was 30 minutes, as most of the shows are, which is ample time.  IMG_3936It is a miracle if my kids sit still for much longer than that. Our last show was Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High™.  This was Jackson’s favorite but Jake and I differed in our opinion.  And by this time, Bailey was having more fun playing with the souvenir whale cup then anything else. The walrus never made an appearance which may be a result of the recent death of a trainer in one of their shows.  We finished up our day with the Penguin Encounter® and the all important visit to the gift shop. Jackson saw a stuffed squid earlier in the day that he absolutely had to have. All in all the park visit went smoothly minus the heat exhaustion and sore feet. IMG_3938 We ended the day with swimming at the hotel pool and some much deserved room service.


IMG_3942 We spent the remaining time we had there eating at the breakfast buffet, swimming at the pool and trying to make sense of the chaos we created in the room. It was a whirlwind trip but a nice break from the everyday hustle and bustle of our lives. And for me, it’s all about creating memories for my kids.  Little things like bats, boats, and Belugas can make all the difference in the world to your children.  I still remember all the little adventures my parents took us on and am very fortunate to be able to provide the same for my kiddos.

What fun summer vacations did you take this year? Share your comments with me!





Hawaiian Falls and Hospitals: Our Wild Weekend

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Toddler Play Area at Hawaiian Falls


Slide that Jackson Braved


Lunch Break!

Last weekend started off normal enough.  We had planned a trip to Hawaiian Falls in Roanoke on Saturday.  Bailey woke up with a runny nose but she seemed to feel fine other than that so we set out for the water park. We really liked the location and lay out of the park.  Just 15 minutes from our house makes it worth the cost. $27.99 for adults, $20.99 for kids, and children under 2 are free.  Not bad for a full day of water fun.  We packed a cooler with lunch ($10.00 additional fee) and rented a locker (also additional $10.00).  I think it’s a small price to pay for unlimited food and drinks and security for our valuables.   The park had a good mix of adult/big kid rides as well as toddler friendly areas.  Jackson was much braver than I thought he would be and went down some pretty big slides for his age.  Bailey enjoyed the pineapple dumping water on her and they both had a blast in the lazy river and wave pool.  For a Saturday, it didn’t feel that crowded. Plenty of tables to set up camp in the shade and easy to move around without long lines or bumping into people. Which is a major plus for Jake!  We spent about 3 hours there before deciding to pack it up.

Bailey had developed a mild, sporadic cough while we there but by the time we got to the car, it had gotten a lot worse and we could tell it was a “tight” cough as a result from her asthma.  A breathing treatment was in her future. Throughout the rest of the afternoon and night we gave her 3 treatments. 2 with just albuterol and 1 with a steroid to try to speed up the relief. By now, the mild runny nose she had was all thick and yellow and she had developed a mild fever. Looks like she had a cold that may have triggered the asthma so we continued to watch her throughout the night. We debated taking her to the ER that night, but she ended up falling asleep so we decided against it. Of course now we realize we should always follow our gut.  Her heart rate remained elevated (which can be a common side effect of the breathing treatments) and her breathing was fast but she was not having retractions (sucking in around her clavicle or rib cage) so we put her in our bed so we could keep an eye on her all night. As a parent, you think you are doing what’s best for your child and sometimes you don’t make the best decisions. She never acted like she felt bad, stopped playing, or cried in discomfort. But my kids are used to being sick so they may just be used to feeling puny.  So we watched her sleep.



Chillin’ at Hospital #1

Jackson came down about 6:45 which woke Bailey up.  Immediately, the retractions came. She started crying and gasping “BT, BT!” (breathing treatment).  I jumped up, threw my clothes on, and took her the hospital 5 minutes from our house (so lucky to have that).  Before I could even finish signing in at the desk, a nurse was there to greet us. By the time we got to the room, there was a doctor, 2 nurses, and a respiratory therapist waiting to evaluate her. Heart rate was elevated, retractions were full force, but oxygen was 95 so that was a good sign.  As they started hooking her up for a breathing treatment and I was explaining to the doctor what all had transpired since yesterday.  He agreed with me that I should have brought her in. Dagger in my heart, I felt like he just affirmed what I was thinking. I was a horrible mom and how could I not have seen my child was in distress last night. We all have asthma, including Jackson so I thought I knew what to look for if my kids ever had a severe attack. Over there next 3 hours, a dose of steroids, 3 breathing treatments, a flu test and a chest x-ray were done, both which showed negative for anything. At this point, he felt like she was better and the retractions had subsided, but he was still not comfortable with how slow she was progressing. He felt it was best for her to be transported to Cook Children’s Hospital by ambulance so they could evaluate her and see if she needed to be admitted.  He said the ambulance was necessary in case she had another attack or went into cardiac arrest from all the treatments.

Yikes! Ok… I was able to stay calm. I think the nature of my job helped me with that. I know that if I started to feel panicked she would read that from me and get excited or anxious too. She was happy and playing, which was very surprising to them,  and I didn’t want to do anything to change that so I sucked it up.  The “Teddy Bear Transport” that operates only for Cook Children’s Hospital arrived about 20 minutes later. By this time, Jake and Jackson had arrived and we watched her get strapped to the bed and hooked up to monitors to be loaded into the ambulance. Never something you want to see happen to your child. I rode in the front seat as Bailey watched Frozen in the back with 2 nurses monitoring her vitals.


Chillin’ at Hospital #2


Waiting for the All Clear

The ER doctor at Cook Children’s gave her a heavier dose of steroids and another breathing treatment. After 2 hours, she, like the other doctor, felt she was improving but not fast enough. She needed to be able to go at least 4 hours before needing another treatment and, at this time, she was only hovering around the 2 hour mark.  The decision was made to move her up to the observation floor where she would continue to receive treatments and be monitored to see if she should be admitted. They were happy that her Oxygen level was remaining high and she did not appear dehydrated.  She was moved to a room that was a lot quieter than what she had been in and it would give her a chance to relax, sleep, or even get down and play with Jackson if she felt like it. So we ordered a very late lunch for everyone (courtesy of the hospital) since none of us had eaten anything more than stale graham crackers from a hospitality room drawer…and waited for improvement.

By 7:00 that night and after two more treatments, the doctor felt comfortable discharging us. She said since we have experience with asthma symptoms, have a nebulizer, and know the signs of distress (or, at least we thought we did) we should be able to manage her treatments for the next 48 hours. She received a prescription for a steroid, a new nebulizer and were told to continue the treatments every 4 hours night and day for the next 48 hours.

Jake and I are used to having hiccups to deal with but this was particularly scary. And I feel it definitely could have been avoided. Please…if you ever have an instinct that your child is in physical distress, no matter what the cause is, NEVER hesitate to take them in to be evaluated.  She is on the mend, but still not 100%.  Her primary care pediatrician added another dose of steroids to the mix after listening to her breathing on Wednesday and we are still watching her closely.  Time of day, work schedule, copays, the annoyance of having to wait at a hospital or doctor’s office should never be a deterrent.  Doctors will never judge you for being overly cautious about your children. We thought we knew what to look for and could make a good assessment of her symptoms but we were wrong. Everything turned out ok for us but it could have easily gone the other way. And that is something I will never forget.


Dry Drowning: How to Spot the Signs, Treat It, and Prevent It From Happening

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Dry Drowning

Summer is upon us and that means pools, lakes, beaches, waterparks and anything else that can give wet relief from the heat. There have a been a few stories in the media lately of “dry drowning” incidents, but admittedly, I have not paid much attention to them except to think what a tragedy it is for those parents who have lost a child.  We don’t have a pool and are not able to make it up to our community pool a lot so with the exception of a water table for Bailey’s daycare splash day and the occasional trip to the Splash pad with Jackson’s friend, I did not see this as a huge concern.  However, the other night in the bathtub, Bailey poured a pitcher of water on her head causing her to swallow it and get it up her nose.  She choked, coughed and cried, but ended up being fine and went right back to playing.  Immediately the articles about “dry drowning” popped in my head. What is it? Does she have water in her lungs? Do I need to stay awake watching her all night to make sure she doesn’t stop breathing?  At the risk of acting paranoid and neurotic, I started Googling dry drowning to learn more about it.  I ran across the following article from that helped me understand some basic facts about “dry drowning” and “secondary drowning”.  I wanted to copy and share this with you so that we can all be aware of the signs to look for and what to do if we think our kids may be at risk. All credit for the below article should be given to the author and website that originally posted it. To access the article directly, go to:

Dry Drowning: Know the Signs

It sounds scary: A child can seem fine after getting out of a pool or body of water but then start to have trouble breathing an hour — or up to 24 hours — later. You’ll worry a whole lot less once you know the signs of submersion injuries, and how to prevent them.

Toddler by poolsideShutterstock

Chances are you’ve read scary warning stories about “dry drowning” or “secondary drowning” — terms you probably never even knew existed before you became a parent — on social media. The idea that your child could “drown” on dry land is admittedly terrifying, and makes many parents feel helpless. But these rare incidents can be prevented. Get the facts you need to help keep your kids as safe as possible in and out of the water.

What is dry drowning?

The terms “dry drowning” and “secondary drowning” (also called submersion injuries) are often used interchangeably — even by some experts — but they’re actually different conditions, says Mark R. Zonfrillo, M.D., MSCE, attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

In dry drowning, someone takes in a small amount of water through his or her nose and/or mouth, and it causes a spasm in the airway, causing it to close up. In secondary drowning, the little bit of water gets into the lungs and causes inflammation or swelling that makes it difficult or impossible for the body to transfer oxygen to carbon dioxide and vice versa. Dry drowning usually happens soon after exiting the water, but with secondary drowning, there can be a delay of up to 24 hours before the person shows signs of distress. Both can cause trouble breathing and, in worst-case scenarios, death.

More important than the difference between the two — Dr. Zonfrillo says they’re both equally dangerous, and in fact, some experts reject the terms altogether, and simply refer to a “spectrum” of drowning — is knowing how to prevent such submersion injuries, and identify when your child is having trouble breathing after a swim.

Is it common?

Rest assured: Dry drowning and secondary drowning incidents, while incredibly scary, are rare, says Dr. Zonfrillo, and account for only about 1 to 2 percent of drowning incidents.

There are no specific stats on how many kids die each year from these types of submersion injuries, but it’s very few, says Kathleen Berchelmann, M.D., a pediatrician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. In fact, in 12 years practicing as a pediatrician, she’s only seen one patient who suffered from drowning that happened long after getting out of the pool.

Still, she says, it was a life-threatening scenario, and if you’re going to be spending time at the pool, ocean, or lake this summer, it’s smart to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

How to spot it

The good news is, dry drowning or secondary drowning (submersion injury) doesn’t happen out of nowhere. “You’re going to see warning signs,” says Sarah Denny, M.D. a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Injury, Violence & Poison Prevention, and an attending physician in the Section of Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

No matter your child’s age, be on the lookout for:

  • Water rescue. “Any child pulled from the pool needs medical attention,” says Dr. Berchelmann. “At the very least, call the pediatrician.”
  • Coughing. Persistent coughing or coughing associated with increased work of breathing needs to be evaluated.
  • Increased “work of breathing.” Rapid shallow breathing, nostril flaring, or where you can see between the child’s ribs or the gap above their collarbone when they breathe, means they’re working harder to breathe than normal, says Dr. Denny. This is a sign that you should seek medical help immediately.
  • Sleepiness. Your kid was just excitedly playing in the pool, and now she’s fatigued? It could mean not enough oxygen is getting into to her blood. Don’t put her to bed until her doctor gives you the go-ahead.
  • Forgetfulness or change in behavior. Similarly, a dip in oxygen level could cause your child to feel sick or woozy.
  • Throwing up. “Vomiting is a sign of stress from the body as a result of the inflammation and sometimes a lack of oxygen, also from persistent coughing and gagging,” explains Dr. Berchelmann.

What to do

Any time you’re concerned about your child and think he could have symptoms of dry or secondary drowning, whether you’re in your backyard pool or on a beach vacation, call the pediatrician right away for advice. Your child’s doctor should be able to talk you through it, says Dr. Berchelmann, and might advise you to go to the ER, a primary care doctor, or a national urgent care center.

But if your child is really struggling to breathe, call 911 and/or head to the emergency room right away. “Necessary treatment may not be available in settings other than the ER,” says Dr. Zonfrillo.

How it’s treated

Treatment for submersion injury depends on the severity of the patient’s symptoms, says Dr. Denny. The doctor will check the child’s vital signs, oxygen level, and work of breathing. Patients with more mild symptoms just need careful observation, in more serious cases, the doctor may also do a chest x-ray or give him oxygen. In cases of respiratory failure, or when a child can no longer breath on their own, extra support is needed — such as intubating or putting the child on a ventilator — but that’s very rare. The goal will be to increase blood flow in the lungs and get the child breathing well again.

How to prevent it

Prevention is the same for dry drowning and secondary drowning as it is for any other kind of drowning:

  • Swim lessons. Kids who are comfortable and skilled at moving around in the water are less likely to go under and take in water. Around age 4 is a good time to start.
  • Supervision. Monitor kids closely in and around the water, and enforce pool safety rules.
  • Water safety measures. Children should wear floatation devices on boats; pools should have four-sided fencing around them; and you should never leave standing water where a child could get into it.

As long as you practice water safety, pay close attention to your kids after swimming, and get them checked out if you notice any signs of trouble breathing, you shouldn’t have to constantly stress about dry drowning or secondary drowning. “I can’t emphasize enough how rare they are,” says Dr. Zonfrillo. Heading into vacation season, that’s welcome news.

Please share this with anyone who has kids so we can all be cognizant of what this is!