LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As kids are hitting the pools for the summer, parents want to make sure they're staying safe.

Thousands of people every year, both adults and children, die as a result of drowning.

It’s not always the type of drowning that you have heard about before, where someone is found floating in a pool.

It’s called “secondary drowning” or “dry drowning”, and can happen hours after they are out of the water.

“This is something that has been known for a while, but probably the public is not aware of it,” said Dr. Pradeep Padmanabhan, with the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville.

It starts with a child taking water into their lungs. You may notice them coughing when they come up for air.

“They look like they choked on it, but when they come out they seem to be fine. So, most parents kind of seem to ignore it and then go about their business,” said Dr. Padmanabhan.

However, what’s happening is that sometimes the water fills the lungs, or chemicals from the pool or hot tub are also causing damage.

It may not be obvious, but it can lead to complications or even be fatal.

“Sometimes things can happen in progression and in about 6 hours or so, 4 ot 6 hours, they can get much worse,” said Dr. Padmanabhan.

Doctors say, after your kids leave the pool, take notice if they are coughing, having difficulty breathing, acting tired, experiencing headaches, or vomiting.

Doctors say watching your child after you leave the pool is just as important as watching them when they’re in the water.

They recommend taking your child to a doctor or emergency room if you notice them suffering from any of the above symptoms after leaving the water.

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