Signs of Secondary Drowning

Stock Pool girl swimmingA blogger at Huffington Post recounted one of the scariest moments in a parent’s life- her son almost drowned on dry land. Secondary drowning, a little-known condition, was very close to taking her son from her family. As she wrote here

“Secondary drowning can be difficult to recognize since the victim appears to be OK right after a near-drowning event…So if your child has experienced a near-drowning experience, watch for a sudden change of personality or energy level. You can save your child’s life if you act quickly and get them medical treatment immediately.”

Secondary drownings are uncommon, so it’s perfectly understandable that the blogger didn’t know how to recognize the signs, but she did do the next best thing. When she knew something was wrong but didn’t understand it- she called the emergency line at her pediatricians.  Secondary drowning is when a person retains water in their lungs after a near-drowning event. The water irritates the lungs and causes them to swell, further reducing their ability to take in oxygen. Secondary drowning can take place up to 72 hours after an event. The signs to watch for are lethargy, personality change, unresponsiveness or change in their level awareness. As always, when children are around water, keep a close eye on them, even if they are proven swimmers. If you regularly visit a pool without a lifeguard make sure someone in your family is trained in both adult and child CPR.

Thankfully, after a whirlwind trip to two hospitals and multiple doctors, the young boy in the article is safe and healthy.

Tracy Fisher

Tracy Fisher is Growing Up in the Valley's head designer. She has been a part of the publication since March 2012. She is the proud mother of Charlotte, 6. She also eats too much chocolate.
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