Drowning Hours After You Swim

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – One of the biggest fears many parents have for their children that go swimming is drowning.

It may sound impossible, but you can still drown several hours after swimming while sitting in your home.

If you have a choking incident while swimming, doctors say you could still drown from that incident hours later.

It’s called dry or secondary drowning.

According to doctors at Lutheran Hospital, ‘dry drowning’ or ‘secondary drowning’ isn’t very common, but it is common enough that you should keep an eye out for it.

Dry drowning can occur when a small amount of water or chemicals enters the lungs and restricts breathing. The restricted breathing can lead to water being pulled into the lungs from other areas of the body and cause drowning.

While the likelihood of this happening is very low, Dr. Santarosa of Lutheran Hospital said it’s common enough every year to monitor very closely.

Dr. Santarosa of Lutheran Hospital said trying to breathe around this closing sometimes causes water in our bodies to be vaccumed into our lungs which can lead to drowning.

The symptoms of secondary drowning typically become evident 4 to 6 hours after swimming.

“The signs of dry drowning usually start out with presistent cough, they can feel tired, look cool or clamy, and they may even have a little bit of nausea or vomitting,” Dr. Santarosa said.

Many times, the problems occur after there was a choking incident in the pool.

Since the results of secondary drowning can be devistating, the potential should be taken seriously, but according to doctors, it’s nothing to panic over.

“99% of the time if your child has a choking incident in the pool, they’re going to go about their normal business and everything’s going to be fine, but we just want to make people aware that it does happen and it is something to be aware of,” Annette Chard of Lutheran Hospital said.

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