Spotting the symptoms for secondary drowning

Some poolgoers at Memorial Family Aquatic Center in Jefferson City had heard of "secondary drowning." while others had not.

It's a rare, but potentially deadly condition that can strike your children hours after they get out of the water; secondary drowning.

It happens when a person inhales water, usually after a struggle or near-drowning, and the water gets into the lungs. They may not show symptoms for 24 hours.

"It irritates the lung tissue itself and causes inflamation. The lung tissue then starts to make fluid and creates something called pulmonary edema," CBS News Medical Contributor Dr. Holly Phillips said.

"So the lungs themselves create fluid, you're filling up with fluid, and you're drowning, even though you're not in the pool."

At Memorial Park Family Aquatic Center Friday, many people had never heard of secondary drowning.

"It's got me a little concerned, you know, I think I probably need to do some research about it and find out more about this since I do have children that swim a lot," Centertown resident Sarah Rosslan said.

According to an article by CNN, secondary drowning symptoms include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, lethargy, fever and unusual mood change.

While secondary drowning is extremely rare, accounting for just one-to-two percent of all drowning deaths, those that spoke with KRCG 13 at Memorial Pool will now be on the lookout.

"I guess when we get home and if she feels like something is wrong or if I see something is wrong, then I'm gonna basically go through the symptoms and checklist," Ricajai Vaught, who brought her young niece to the pool, said.

"Keeping an eye on them, making sure their level on consciousness is good, they don't have any flu symptoms, headaches...," Holts Summit resident Debbie Grabanski said.

If caught early, secondary drowning can be treated.