Doctors warn of ‘dry drowning’ dangers after 4-year-old Texas boy’s death

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AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Four-year-old Francisco Delgado III died a week after he went swimming with his family at the Texas City Dike over the Memorial Day weekend, KTRK reports.

Over the holiday weekend, the child complained of an upset stomach but his parents said they didn’t think much of it. As the week went on, his family tells KTRK they thought he was getting better but on Saturday, June 3, the child said his shoulders were hurting before taking his last breaths a few hours later.

“They were still working on him. I’m screaming. Let me just touch my baby. Maybe he needs his mama’s touch,” his mother told KTRK, describing medics’ attempts to resuscitate her son. His official cause of death has not been released.

Dr. Eric Higginbotham, the medical director of the emergency department at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, says the dangers — although extremely rare — of dry or delayed drowning exist even after your day at the pool.

A delayed drowning happens when water enters the lungs, but the effects don’t appear until hours or days later, but usually within 48 hours. “It happens when someone breathes in small amounts of water during a struggle in the water, which makes the airway muscles spasm and breathing becomes difficult,” a warning from Dell Children’s described.

This can lead to breathing trouble, brain injury and even death, if untreated.

Read more on KXAN.com

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