Warning for parents to watch for symptoms of secondary drowning

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- As kids head to the pool for summer, parents need to be aware of the risk of secondary drowning. It can happen to your child hours after you leave the water, so you need to know the warning signs.

City swimming pools are busy places in the summer months, where lifeguards keep watch that everyone is following the rules. But the risk doesn't end at the pool's edge.

There is growing talk of something called secondary drowning. That can happen after an incident in which a child is underwater for just a few seconds.

"Secondary drowning is actually more of a descriptive term that many people have been using to describe delayed breathing problems that happen after a child appears to be recovering," explained Dr. Kay Leaming-Van Zandt with Texas Children's Hospital.

Those symptoms include quick breathing, coughing, pale skin and irritability.

"The vast majority of kids will present with symptoms soon after they've been underwater, but usually we'll watch kids in the emergency department up to six hours," Dr. Leaming-Van Zandt
said.

Even after the lifeguards go home and the fun in the pool has ended, parents still to keep a watchful eye.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.