When you go on vacation with your family, you only expect to return with wonderful memories. Sadly, that’s not the case for this Texas family whose 4-year-old boy died from ‘dry drowning’ just days after a swimming trip. The family had spent a day swimming at the Texas City Dike during Memorial Day Weekend, and the child had only been in knee-deep water. However, days later, the young boy began to experience symptoms of what appeared to be a stomach bug. And nearly a week later, the child finally succumbed to ‘dry drowning’, shattering the hearts of his devastated parents.
Tara Delgado, Frankie’s mother, described the scene just before his death to KTRK News. Paramedics had been called to the home after the boy woke up screaming due to shoulder pain.
“I walked in. I could see him lying there. They were still working on him. I’m screaming. ‘Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama’s touch,'” said the grieving mother.
“When she (the paramedic) came in, she told us it’s what’s called dry drowning. His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him.”
What Is Dry Drowning?
According to USA Today, dry drowning (also known as ‘secondary drowning’) occurs when someone ingests even a small amount of water either through the mouth or nose. If left untreated, and the fluid stays in the lungs, it can cause respiratory issues, brain injury, and can also prompt the vocal cords to spasm, all of which can lead to death””such as in the case of the Delgado family. The terrifying thing is how much longer after a water inhalation incident dry drowning can occur. While symptoms typically occur within 24 hours after leaving the body of water, death might not occur for a few more days after that.
How Do We Prevent This?
First, you’ll always want to carefully supervise little ones around water. Whether they’re in the pool, at the beach, in a lake, or simply in the bath tub, you want to make sure they are not able to ingest any water. An article on Parenting.com states that if you suspect there is a chance your child may have inhaled water, observe them for the next few days and watch for symptoms like coughing, vomiting, difficulty breathing, or any other unusual behavior. If any of these signs are present, take them to the doctor or your nearest hospital to have your child checked out in order to avoid a tragedy.
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