As kids across the Tri-Cities dive into summer it's obvious the first place they'll be heading is the pool. As parents stress the importance of life jackets and floatation devices, be mindful that these might not protect kids from every danger.
Drowning is one of a parent's biggest worries during these summertime months but did you know that a type of drowning can happen after your kids are out of the pool?
Here's what we found out about a phenomenon known as secondary drowning: It happpens when a person inhales water into their lungs instead of swallowing it into their stomach and it can have a deadly effect even hours laters.
It's a scary thought.
A child saved from being submerged in water only to die later from what's called secondary drowning.
Doctor James Kneff with Bristol Regional Medical Center says here's what parents should look for.
"You can notice some change in their mental status. They're less alert, less reactive. or it's going to be especially worse if they exert themselves through their playing and they just kind of sit down because they can't play normally. Those are going to kind of be the progression of things you're going to see," says Kneff.
This doesn't just occur in children. You can see it happen to adults too.
The secondary drowning happens even after a little bit of water has been aspirated into a person's lungs.
Once you notice a person coughing a lot or not being their usual self after a scare in the pool, this is when you should be most concerned.
"The overwhelming majority, within 8 hours, if there's no symptoms, you're in the clear," says Kneff.
Aquatic Instructor Bryan Marshall says he thinks it's important to keep a close eye on the person up to 24 hours and he believes parents should be the first line of defense even when their kids are around a lifeguard.
"Come to the pool. Help watch your children. Learn C.P.R. Know the signs and symptoms of what could happen and have a plan if something does happen," says Marshall.
News 5 found out that the chances of something like this happening are very slim.
Marshall tells News 5 these non-fatal drownings actually occur in one to two percent of drownings.
Doctors tell News 5 the biggest thing a parent can do is be alert at all times, including during bath time!
"Just always keep your eye on your kids. I mean we see so many terrible things that happen with just a momentary lapse so vigilance is the best medicine," adds Kneff.