So by now, I am sure everyone has heard the recent story of the 4-year-old Texas boy who tragically died after a day of swimming. If you are not familiar, you can find the story here. This is a tough read.
The sad story tells how the boy was playing in shallow water, but fell and ingested some of the water. Days later he suffered from shortness of breath, diarrhea, and vomiting. Frankie was taken to the ER where he was pronounced dead.
DRY DROWNING (or Secondary Drowning) is when you inhale water into your lungs, which causes your heart to slow and your lungs to swell up. This will cause the oxygen levels in your blood to drop, which can lead to cardiac arrest. Symptoms do not typically occur until hours or even days later.
Symptoms of Dry Drowning
- Change in behavior or demeanor
Just recently, we are finding that this story is actually helping parents be more aware and has actually saved the life of a Colorado boy, who showed some of the same symptoms as Frankie. The 2-year-old had played in the local community pool hours before his father noticed him acting weird. Upon arriving at the ER, doctors confirmed that there was water in the boy’s lungs and he was, in fact, drowning.
Had this Colorado dad not seen the tragic story of Frankie Delgado, he probably would have just shrugged the symptoms off and given his son some Tylenol and checked his status in the morning. Frankie Delgado’s story saved this 2-year old boy’s life. You can read the full story here.
Just this past weekend my family had a similar scare. After falling over in his kiddie pool, earlier in the day, my son came down with a high fever. We took him to the ER and as they were checking him out, we mentioned that he had briefly gone under the water earlier that day. The nurse practitioner kind of laughed and commented, “been watching the news?”
Yes, yes we have. And I know it is very rare and there is only like a 1% chance of your child experiencing dry drowning, but any % is enough to run a test. I get that they probably see this all the time – something happens in the news and suddenly everyone is experiencing that same thing. But, it did save the Colorado boys life.
Thankfully, the chest X-ray showed that our son was fine. He just had a viral infection, which was causing the high fever. So, a few nights of very little sleep and a bunch of Mortin later, he is good to go!
I know parents don’t want to be rushing to the emergency room every time your kid gets water in their face during bath time. Just please keep in mind this story and what the symptoms of dry drowning look like.
Have a safe Summer!