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Watch for secondary drowning on summer trips and always

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As families make plans for trips this summer, it's a good time to think about water safety. Most destinations this time of year involve fun in the sun and almost always time around water. Whether it's a pool, beach, lake or even the local splash pad, there is nothing more important than constant vigilance when kids are near water.

Everyone knows it can take only a few seconds for a child to drown, but did you know that getting them out of the water quickly is only half of the battle? A lesser known phenomenon called second-drowning can kill a child within hours or days of a near-drowning and it's important for parents and caregivers to understand the risk.

There is a blog post that went viral recent with one mom's account of how her son, Ronin, was underwater for just a few seconds while her back was turned. He coughed up some water and seemed fine, so they went about their day. She started to notice a bit later that he was acting off and had developed a strange cough. A call to the pediatrician resulted in a trip to the emergency room, followed by a transfer to a children's hospital for treatment.

Read more about this mom's experience here. I've also experienced a near-drowning while on vacation in Italy. No one in my family seemed concerned after the fact, but I knew my daughter had a bad cough and seemed lethargic, so I got her to the local doctor the next day while the rest of my family went to Pisa. He was very concerned and said her lungs sounded odd, so we rushed her to the hospital to get checked out. We were lucky, but there are parents every year who are not. The best advice would be to avoid issues in the first place by never, ever taking your eyes off of kids in the water, but just in case the unthinkable happens, be prepared.


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