If you’re planning to take your kids swimming this summer, you might want to keep an eye out for what’s sometimes called “secondary drowning.”
It’s a problem that’s not very common, but can be deadly.
“I`m always watching them from wherever I am, and I usually stay near them, and they know they have to see me from wherever they are too,” said Kristin Manfrevi.
She spends a lot of time at the pool with the kids she babysits. They love swimming.
“They`re actually both on swim team, so they`re very good swimmers, but I know that could happen with their little brother,” she said.
Dr. Warren Davidson, a Pediatrician from University Hospitals, said secondary drowning is when a person swallows water and then develops symptoms later, usually within a couple hours if not longer.
“What happens is that they get some water in their lungs, and then over time the water that`s in there interferes with their body`s ability to exchange oxygen in the lungs, and it gets to the rest of the body and that can cause them to have breathing difficulty,” he explained.
He said other symptoms include coughing, choking, excessive sleepiness and mood changes.
When it comes to treatment, he said that it varies. In more severe cases, the patient would get a breathing tube.
So what can parents do to prevent secondary drowning?
He said not much, besides just keep a close eye on their kids both when they’re in the water and after they get out.
A child that has had a drowning close call, or swallowed water should be watched closely for the next 24 hours.
If they show signs of coughing, choking, excessive sleepiness and/or mood changes take them to an emergency room.