Though rare, secondary drowning can be fatal if warning symptoms are ignored. Anytime someone (children and adults alike) inhales even a small gush of water (pool, lake or ocean) it can irritate the lungs and cause swelling. Usually very little water is present in the lungs when secondary drowning occurs, but the small amount of liquid is enough to hinder the lungs ability to provide oxygen to the bloodstream.
If your child has had a near drowning, or perhaps swallowed too much water, keep a close eye out for the symptoms of secondary drowning and take them to the hospital immediately. Symptoms can even take between one and 72 hours to appear.
Here’s what to look for:
- Excess fatigue after bathing
- Shortness of breath after bathing
- Irritability or mood swings, for no apparent reason.
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