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Secondary Drowning-What every parent needs to know before going to the pool

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Secondary drowning is not really well known with most parents. When you see a child or adult drowning, and are saved and breathing, you think everything is fine. But according to one mother whose son nearly drowned one weekend in May, things turned out very differently.

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Lindsay Kujawa and her young son Ronin were at a party when her son fell into a whirlpool. She thought he was standing on the step, and while she turned to talk to someone he fell in. She immediately picked him up out of the water and he was coughing and crying. So she felt everything was ok and went on with the party.

A couple hours later while at home, Ronin began acting a little odd, he was slow going, very tired, and had a weird cough. Lindsay became concerned and called her doctor. After hearing the information, her doctor quickly informed her to take Ronin to the ER immediately, he was experiencing secondary drowning. When she went back to check to him, Ronin was already unresponsive.

Secondary drowning’s can occur in pools, oceans or even bathtubs. According to Michael Roizen, MD, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic “Secondary drowning can occur when a small amount of inhaled fluid acts as an irritant, causing inflammation and leakage of liquid into the lung," As a reaction, the body can push more fluid into the lungs causing the person to drown by their own fluids.

At the ER Ronin was ordered tests and x-rays. The results were not good, there was a lot of fluid in Ronin’s lungs and they were aspirated, which can be very serious.

After going to a children’s hospital nearby, Ronin began to improve with treatment, and close monitoring.

If your child has a near drowning accident and appears to be ok, take them to see a doctor anyways just a precaution to make sure your child’s lungs are clear. Ronin is just fine, and the doctors are proud of Lindsay for acting so quickly, or situation would have been worse.