We usually don’t pay attention to this because it is quite normal to feel tired and drowsy after a day spent at the pool, especially for children.
And this is precisely why Cassandra Jackson didn’t do or think anything when her son told her he needs to sleep after spending the day at the swimming pool. Johnny, aged 10, went to sleep and his mother didn’t suspect that anything wrong will happen. After a while, when she went to check him, she was shocked.
Johnny had foam on his mouth and was breathing heavily. She took him to the ER immediately and she was told that he was experiencing so called “Secondary Drowning” – a condition that results from swallowing water that can happen within 72 hours.
This is an uncommon condition but it can be fatal if the warning signs are not recognised. Every time someone (children or adults) inhales even a small amount of water (pool, lake or ocean) it can irritate the lungs and cause swelling. This small amount of water is enough to hinder the lungs ability to provide oxygen to the blood stream. When the secondary drowning happens, there is almost no water present in the lungs.
That is why if your children go to the pool or swallow too much water even during regular bathing, pay attention to the warning signs of secondary drowning and immediately take them to the hospital. The symptoms can appear between 1 and 72 hours.
Here’s what to pay attention to:
- Shortness of breath after bathing
- Excess fatigue after bathing
- Irritability or mood swings, for no evident reason.
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