It’s officially July, and we’re well on our way into summer. The temps are high, and so is the urge to pop into the nearest recreational body of water to cool off. But before you leap into that nearby lake, pool or river, take a moment to arm yourself with what may be new info on how to keep safe when it comes to swimming.

They say that drowning usually happens very quietly, without much warning, and often right before our eyes. There may not be any splashing or calls for help – often, the victim slips silently below the surface of the water unbeknownst to others in the near vicinity.

Another type of drowning that can also be considered silent is called secondary drowning. It may be a rare occurrence, but it’s worth understanding how it happens and what signs to look for in order to get help before it’s too late.

Secondary drowning happens when water gets in the lungs and irritates the lungs’ lining, causing fluid to build up and a condition called pulmonary edema. This usually happens after an incident in the water – near drowning, swallowing water, or simply getting dunked. You may notice some symptoms immediately, others may take time to develop:

– Coughing

– Working harder to breathe than normal

– Sleepiness/heavy fatigue

– Confusion

– Fever

– Vomiting

– Pale or bluish skin

It’s important over the following 24 hours to watch for symptoms and whether they aren’t subsiding or getting worse. If you’re dealing with a child, it may warrant checking in with their pediatrician just after the incident if they’re having trouble recovering.

Now that you’ve been armed with this information, go forth and have cool fun in the sun – safely!

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