If you read any media news about the upcoming summer season. There is always without fail every year something else that we should be worried about. Either the sun is hotter than normal or the ocean is dirtier or now there is a thing called Secondary Drowning that is scaring parents all over the globe. As if just worrying about our children swimming and drowning is not enough we now need to worry when they are out of the water as well.
However, although I do not buy into this fear approach to parenting. What am I supposed to do? Never let my child near water? No, instead I researched and researched and found some of the best information for you, my loyal readers, to put your minds at ease. I hope this helps you decide what is best in your swimming arrangements for the children in your life.
What is Secondary Drowning?
After a near drowning incident in the water there is still a possibility that your child can drown once they are out of the water and this is called Secondary Drowning. When a swimmer is swimming and starts drowning they breathe the water into their lungs. In secondary drowning, the water is aspirated into the lungs and collects there. The water that is still collected in the lungs makes it difficult to breathe and many times victims make a "crackle" sound as they try to breathe.
Only about 5% of kids who have a drowning scare will go on to encounter a secondary drowning. Sometimes children recover, but on the other end of the spectrum there are fatalities. Due to this potentially causing death in a child we must treat it as serious, but chances are if you are already taking your drowning precautions than you are also doing your secondary drowning precautions.
Signs and Symptoms of Secondary Drowning
Here are some symptoms to be on the look out if you think your child may be showing signs of Secondary Drowning. Please note that after any near drowning incident it is recommended that you take the child to the doctor immediately. Also as a general rule be sure to watch your child closely for the next 24 hours to look for signs such as:
- Differences in breathing, such as shortness of breath, crackling sound while breathing, heavy or shallow breaths
- Abnormal skin color such as pale or clammy
- irritation or pain in the throat and chest
- coughing after taking a deep breath, persistent coughing or wheezing
- unusual fatigue
- dizziness/altered level of consciousness
- high fever
Secondary Drowning is relatively rare especially in comparison to regular drowning. This summer while you are swimming at the pool, lake or beach remember that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children under the age of five in states where swimming pools and beaches are more accessible such as California, Arizona and Florida.
The best way to prevent accidents this summer is to be prepared. Put your phone, book, drink and distractions away and really watch your children when they are swimming. Prevention is the key to any type of drowning. The second best thing to do is to be able to react as fast as possible. It is always helpful to know CPR (Read Post: Infant Choking and CPR). Remember, you are always children's lifeguard even if there is already a lifeguard at the pool. Children need adequate supervision around all bodies of water (even shallow) and be sure any fencing around pools is secure before letting little ones play near the pool. Water is a wonderful thing for children and adults to experience and play in and can be a wonderful activity to do as a family as long as proper precautions are always enforced.
Sources for this article are from: GlobalNews.CA Article: What Parents Need To Know About Secondary Drowning By Carmen Chai
Buzzfeed.com Article: Secondary Drowning Is One of The Scariest Things That Could Happen To Your Child This Summer By Mike Spohr
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