A four-year-old boy from Texas died tragically and suddenly from dry drowning. It occurred a week after he went swimming at the Texas City Dike. Francisco Delgado III stopped breathing, prompting his parents to call 911 in a panic. Physicians at the emergency found the little boy had fluid in his lungs and around his heart. Before his death, he had symptoms resembling a stomach virus that included vomiting and diarrhea.
Dry drowning is also called secondary drowning. Dry drowning can occur when the lungs are unable to get oxygen because of muscular paralysis; changes to the lung tissues; or when holding your breath. In Frankie’s case, the dry drowning may have occurred when he had a “near-drowning incident,” reported USA Today. If dry drowning is not treated, it can lead to “brain injury, respiratory problems or death.” Most of the victims of dry drowning involve young children.
Even accidentally inhaling water, can put a child at risk for dry drowning. The signs of dry drowning include persistent coughing; labored breathing; sleepiness; forgetfulness or a change in behavior; and throwing up. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), boys are more at risk for dry drowning, as is children ages one to four. Some factors that influence drowning include the lack of swimming ability, close supervision, barriers, and the failure to wear a life vest.
According to KTLA, after his father found his son unable to breathe, he called 911 and immediately rushed him to the hospital. Frankie’s distraught parents are sharing his story as a warning to other parents of what could happen to their children if they are not careful. Speaking to ABC 7 News, Dr. Kay Leaming-Van Zandt, an emergency room physician, said that dry drowning could happen “in just inches of water” with symptoms appearing hours after playing in the water. She went on to say that symptoms can occur hours later. “Drowning is silent,” she said.
To prevent drowning of any sort, have your children learn how to swim. The CDC also strongly suggests for parents and guardians to learn CPR and to have your children wear life jackets. It was also encouraged to always have supervision around water and to have children not swim alone. USA Today spoke with Purva Grover, the medical director of the Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric emergency told parents that when their kids have a “near-drowning event…get professional opinion” immediately.
By Cheryl Werber
Photo Courtesy Facebook