What parents need to know about 'dry drowning'

One family shares their story to help others recognize the symptoms and prevent a tragedy.
1:23 | 06/10/17

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Transcript for What parents need to know about 'dry drowning'
??? Back now with a story every parent should hear this summer. It's called secondary drowning. Here's ABC's Adrienne Bankert with the symptoms to look out for. Reporter: Tonight, a warning for families about a silent, summer danger. It was alarming, because he was perfectly healthy, you know, the few days before. Reporter: Hours after playing in the pool, Garon Vega's son, gio, became sick. He was exhibiting really high fever, lethargy and I noticed that his heart was beating rapidly. Reporter: After seeing recent headlines about secondary drowning, the boy's family rushed gio to the E.R. Doctors diagnosing the 2-year-old with pneumonia. The family saying these doctors told them secondary drowning was to blame. It's when a small amount of water is inhaled into the lungs. We probably would have waited until the next day and that probably would have been a bad outcome. Reporter: Lindsay Kujawa's son was diagnosed with secondary drowning after jumping into the jacuzzi. I'm like, he's okay, he's not blue, you know, he's choking up the water. Reporter: Doctors say the condition is rare, but can be fatal. It takes a surprisingly small amount of fluid to actually cause damage to the lungs. In a child, it can be as little as a quarter of a can of soda. Reporter: The symptoms to look for when water inhalation may have occurred include coughing, lethargy, difficulty breathing and irritability of confusion. Experts say if your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, get them to the doctor. If they are having trouble breathing, get them to the emergency room right away.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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