It sounds scary: A child can seem fine after getting out of a pool or body of water but then start to have trouble breathing an hour — or up to 24 hours
This is what happened to Cassandra Jackson. She didn’t suspect anything when her son, Johnny, told her he needed some sleep when he got home after spending the day at the pool.
She went to check on her child afterwards and was surprised at what she saw.
The 10-year-old had foam on his mouth and had difficulties in breathing. After taking him to the ER, Cassandra was told that her son has ”Secondary Drowning“.
What is Secondary Drowning?
This types of drowning can happen when your child breathes water into his lungs. Sometimes that happens when he’s struggling while swimming. But it can be a result of something as simple as getting water in his mouth or getting dunked.
Your child’s airways open up, letting water into his lungs where it builds up, causing a condition called pulmonary edema. The end result is the same: trouble breathing.
It can happen to adults, but it’s more common in kids because of their small size.
Symptoms of secondary drowning generally starts later, within 1-24 hours of the incident:
- Chest pain
- Trouble breathing
- Feeling extremely tired
What to Do
If your child has any signs of dry drowning and secondary drowning, get medical help. Although in most cases the symptoms will go away on their own, it’s important to get him checked out.