Tyler, TX (June 19, 2016)- Hospitality Health ER has a message for those seeking summer fun: Swimming may be a great way to beat the heat this summer, but it can also present a danger most people aren’t aware of known as secondary drowning. Commonly mislabeled as “dry drowning”, secondary drowning occurs when water is ingested into the lungs during swimming or being dunked under water.

At Hospitality Health ER, we are doing our part to spread the word about the dangers of dry drowning through community outreach and media engagement, including a recent interview with KTEK on warning signs and prevention of this potentially deadly ailment.

“Water gets in the lungs and several hours later you develop inflammation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Beers, an ER-board certified physician and the Co-Medical Director for Hospitality Health ER in Longview and Tyler. “Most susceptible (to secondary drowning) are children, who may struggle while swimming or horseplay in water. They may appear to be fine directly after the incident, and will not show symptoms for many hours. Over time, the inflamed lungs produce more fluid and inflammation. This keeps oxygen from getting to the blood and carried throughout the body.”

“Symptoms may include distressed breathing, chest pain, extreme or consistent coughing, vomiting, extreme tiredness or irritability,” he explained.

Once the incident of water ingestion occurs, secondary drowning must be treated immediately. The best way to prevent it in the first place is by keeping a close eye on children as they play or swim in water. Even if the child knows how to swim, this is not a guarantee of safety; adults must pay close attention to any incidents while the child is in the water, even if it seems minor at the time.

“Never take your eye off of your kid, even for a minute. Don’t just trust (that) the lifeguard is keeping an eye on them,” Beers stressed.

If your child or a child you know has been near water and begins showing these symptoms, bring them to the closest ER for immediate medical care. Those in North East Texas looking to take the extra step in protecting their family from secondary drowning may even want to keep in mind the nearest free-standing emergency room in their area.

To see the full interview with Dr. Beers, click here. If you have comments on the story, tweet your thoughts to KTEK reporter Caroline Hicks.

For concerned parents seeking further information or press inquiries seeking quotes on secondary drowning or other medical topics, please contact our team through our form page or call 903-762-1212.