News 4 Lifesaver

Jul 17, 2014 9:15 PM by Kristi Tedesco & Edgar Ybarra

Lifesaver: Know the signs of "secondary drowning"

TUCSON - When a child nearly drowns, water comes out of the lungs. If you're lucky, the child's alert and breathing on his own. Sometimes, though, there's water and chemicals still trapped inside and that can lead to a secondary drowning.

Tracy Koslowski with Drexel Heights Fire District tells Kristi's Kids, "It can cause problems... with the brain and the lungs, so it's super important that they get some medical attention."

According to Dr. Michael Karadsheh, the Pediatric ER at Tucson Medical Center sees about one case a month in the summer time. He says, you should watch for a "Persistent cough, difficult to breath, like a bad asthma attack. Mood changes, from extreme anxiety and agitation to extreme lethargy and being hypoactive."

Also, the child might have dizzy spells, chest pains or a change in skin color. Don't just assume it's fatigue, from a long day. If you notice ANY of these symptoms, get immediate medical attention.

Meantime, experts say, you should do your best to avoid the initial near drowning that causes it.

Practice the ABC's of water safety.

A= Active, adult supervision

B= Barriers

C= Classes

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