There’s nothing quite as terrifying for a parent as to see their child in any kind of danger — and the pool is one place where extra vigilance is needed. While mums and dads know all about keeping them safe when swimming, not many are aware of dangers that can happen even outside of the pool. It would be worrying to know that dry drowning can kill, but sadly it can happen.
One mum in Florida nearly lost her little girl to this little known “silent killer.” She recounts in a Facebook post how over a week since choking on pool water, her daughter started showing unusual symptoms.
Dry Drowning Can Kill, Warns Mum of 4-year-old Who Inhaled and Nearly Choked on Pool Water
A Washington Post report says it all started during a family gathering at the home of her grandparents. Four-year-old Elianna Grace was playfully spraying her relatives with pool water by blowing through a flotation noodle. But then she accidentally inhaled too much chlorinated water and began vomiting uncontrollably.
Thankfully, it didn’t seem that this put the kid in any form of danger. But her parents had no idea of the ordeal that awaited their daughter.
Dry drowning can kill, warns Florida mum whose daughter is still fighting to survive. | Image source: Lacey Grace Facebook page
Over a week later, mum Lacey noted how her daughter had intermittent fever twice in just three days. Normally, she would have just brushed it off as one of those viral things that resolve within days. But she read about the tragic story of four-year-old Frankie Delgado, Jr. The mum was well aware that dry drowning was real possibility.
“I kept replaying that pool scene in my head and remembered reading a story last year about a Dad in Texas whose son passed away because he went untreated after inhaling a bunch of pool water. I wasn’t going to let that be Elianna,” wrote the mum in a Facebook post, which was shared over 100,000 times in less than a month.
“If your child inhales a bunch of water, and something seems off AT ALL, I encourage you to immediately get help,” she warns parents in the same post.
As of this writing, little Elianna has suffered aspiration pneumonia. Doctors say there was no way to remove the fluid in her lungs. She’s on antibiotics to fight infection and inflammation; she needs support to breathe on her own.
Friends of the family have set up a fundraising page to help fund her medical bills.
We are hoping this brave little fighter makes a speedy recovery.
Dry Drowning Can Kill: What Parents Should Know
Yes, dry drowning can kill. The first important safety tip is to trust your gut, mums and dads! | Image source: Pixabay
1. Dry drowning causes inflammation and thereby causes fluid build-up
When a child inhales water or almost drowns, their vocal chords can spasm and shut. Because of this, breathing takes extra effort, causing strain and inflammation. Harsh pool chemicals can also aggravate this condition and cause infection.
2. The longer you wait, the worse breathing can get
Because the accumulated fluid can’t be drawn out, breathing problems worsen. In fact, this is true for “any foreign substance that gets into the lungs,” explains Dr. Thomas Waters of Center of Emergency Medicine at Cleveland Clinic to Reader’s Digest, “whether it’s stomach acid or vomit, a peanut, or pool water — can cause irritation and impact breathing.”
3. Watching your child closely after a near-drowning or choking incident is the best prevention
Like the mum above, always trust your gut, and your parenting knowledge. Watch out for the following symptoms: fever, persistent coughing, difficulty in breathing, sudden, unexplained fatigue or exhaustion. Some chidren even exhibit confusion or blueness of the lips and fingers.
4. When in doubt, don’t panic, but act quickly
If you fear dry drowning has happened to your child based on the symptoms above, stay calm, and get them to the emergency room immediately.
“Typically, we’ll just observe them to make sure they don’t get worse, but if someone does progress to respiratory distress, it’s easier to deal with it in the emergency room,” emphasises Dr. Waters. “Don’t wait it out; it’s better to just let us do the observation for you.”
If you suspect that your child is experiencing dry drowning, it’s better to overreact than to brush it off as just a regular illness! As a parent, you are hardwired to protect your child from threats, so trust your gut!
Sources: Washington Post, Reader’s Digest
ALSO READ: Dry drowning: how to save your child from this silent killer