Dry and Secondary Drowning: What Parents Need to Know

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Image via Flickr/ irrezolut

 

Preschoolers ages 1-4 have the highest drowning rates, and drowning is the second leading cause of death after motor vehicle accidents for children 14 and under.

Dry and secondary drowning can be hard to identify and treat, as the child may appear to be alright in the immediate aftermath of a near drowning. A recent case in San Diego, California, raised public awareness to the danger of secondary drowning. In a blog post that went viral, Lindsay Kujawa bravely shared the frightening story of her 2-year-old son's near drowning in an effort to help other parents. Kujawa's toddler, Ronin, was underwater for about 20 seconds at a family pool party. Although he appeared to recover, Kujawa was concerned about the changes in behavior she observed in her son later that day, particularly a strange, persistent cough and extreme lethargy.

{ MORE: Water Safety and Your Child }

In what would be a life-saving course of action, she called her pediatrician, who advised her to take Ronin to the emergency room immediately. Ronin received chest X-rays and blood tests and was diagnosed with chemical pneumonitis from ingestion of the pool water. Fortunately, with medical intervention, Ronin's story has a happy ending: he survived and is now a joyful, healthy little boy.

Kujawa's sharp analysis of Ronin's changes in behavior following the incident and her decision to seek medical care literally saved her son's life. Her decision to share her story, no matter how vulnerable it made her feel, may also save many more children's lives.

{ MORE: When Should You Take Your Child to the Emergency Room }

“I hope this brings awareness to all who read this,” Kujawa writes in her blog, Delighted Mama. “I am so thankful that Ronin is OK and that I decided not to put him to bed that night thinking everything was fine. I have said many, many thank-you prayers over the past few days for that. I want to make sure this never happens to another child, so pass this on and please share with those who you think might need to know.”

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Dry and Secondary Drowning: What Parents Need to Know

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1 comment

  1. Danielle says:

    Great information to know

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