Has your little one ever been in the swimming pool and started to struggle? Maybe they slipped and briefly got out of your reach? They take in some water but you are able to get to them quickly and all is well. Or at least it seems that way. Secondary drowning is a deadly problem and we, as parents, must be aware of the symptoms.
Following a scenario as described above, you get home and, sometime later that day, realize that your little one is acting different. They have a strange cough and/or are extremely tired. If you notice these symptoms, get to an emergency room immediately. These are the exact symptoms of secondary drowning.
Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic Dr. Michael Roizen explains secondary drowning:
It occurs when a small amount of inhaled fluid acts as an irritant, causing inflammation and leakage of liquid into the lung. In some cases, the body may respond by pushing even more liquid into the lungs (this is called pulmonary edema) over the following hours, reducing the ability to breathe and leading a person to drown in their own body fluids. The reaction can take place up to 72 hours after a near drowning incident.
The outcome does not have to be fatal. If you recognize these symptoms, do not put your little one down to sleep. They may never wake up. However, with treatment and close monitoring, your child will recover.
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