The Threat of Secondary Drowning

If you are the owner of a swimming pool, you know that safety is a critical issue. Most swimming pool owners are constantly on the lookout for accidents and drowning. There is one serious threat that many people are unaware of. This is the threat of secondary drowning which is often referred to as “dry drowning.”

Although secondary drowning is relatively rare, it can be fatal just like regular drownings in the swimming pool. How does secondary drowning happen?  It typically happens when a person gets into trouble in the water and struggles. The person often needs to be rescued before drowning. Once the person is out of the swimming pool, it seems like the crisis is over. However, the threat of secondary drowning is very real.

During the struggle, the person inhales water into his or her lungs. Once the person is out of the swimming pool after an incident, he or she make walk around and seem perfectly alert and coherent. However, dry drowning can result from the water inhaled into the person’s lungs. The person will begin having trouble breathing and can suffer brain injury just like victims of regular drowning.

You can prevent dry drowning from progressing by understanding the signs. If the person has had a problem in the swimming pool, you should watch him carefully afterwards. Signs do not appear immediately. It may take hours for the symptoms to appear. It’s especially hard to spot the signs in small children as they are similar to the behavior of a tired child worn out after a day of swimming.

Look for sudden changes in behavior and extreme fatigue. The person may have trouble breathing and experience chest pain. He or she may also develop a cough. Secondary drowning can happen anywhere from one hour to an entire day after the incident in the swimming pool. You will have to be vigilant during this time so you can spot any signs of dry drowning.

If you think a person may experiencing these symptoms, take them to an emergency room immediately. The sooner the problem is treated, the better the results will be. Doctors can treat the problem with ventilation or oxygen so the problem doesn’t turn into a tragic situation.

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