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Secondary Drowning and Its Effects

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Many people have never heard of secondary drowning. Secondary drowning is a term used to refer to a condition of suffering delayed symptoms of drowning, long after one has been in the water. It can easily affect children after they have been swimming or bathing.

Secondary drowning symptoms might set 24 hours after has been exposed to water. Even small amounts of water can cause secondary drowning. You need to keep monitoring your kids, especially after they have been swimming. Although cases of secondary drowning are rare, it can be fatal when it occurs. Secondary drowning affects the lungs and the breathing system and makes it difficult for the victim to breath properly.

Symptoms of Secondary Drowning

Below are some symptoms you might observe in secondary drowning cases.

  • Chest pains
  • Coughing
  • Reduced energy
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fatigue

Secondary drowning is caused by a condition known as pulmonary edema. While swimming or bathing, water can easily get into your lungs. Pulmonary edema is a condition where the lungs are easily irritated by the water making it difficult to breathe. The condition causes the lungs to retain the water, and swell when you try to breathe. Your body is then deprived of oxygen making difficult to function properly.

Dry Drowning and Secondary Drowning

Many people tend to confuse secondary drowning with dry drowning. While the two happens in almost similar situations, they are quite different. In dry drowning, a small amount of water goes through the nose or mouth and blocks the airways.

Swallowing water does not cause secondary drowning. It may cause stomach upset’s though. Swimming pool or bath water is always not so clean.

Anyone suffering from either secondary or dry drowning needs to get immediate medical attention. The situation can turn fatal is not treated as soon as possible.

Preventive measures for secondary drowning are quite similar to those of drowning. Children are at more risk of suffering secondary drowning than adults. Ensure your kids know how to swim properly. Have them wear life jackets if they cannot swim.

You need to be aware of secondary drowning especially if you have kids who love being around water. Take all the necessary precautionary measures you are supposed to take, and closely monitor your kids after they have been swimming. Adults can suffer secondary drowning as well. Seek medical attention immediately if you have difficulty breathing or chest pains after swimming.

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