Houston Texas Dry Drowning: Child Dies Days After Swimming

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The death of a 4-year-old Texas boy suspected of dying from dry-drowning has raised national attention to a rare form of drowning.

A four-year-old boy from Houston, Texas died of "dry drowning" nearly a week after his family took a swimming trip.

Delgado had shown symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea for several days after returning from a swim trip, and then he stopped breathing, his family said. Almost a week later, Frankie complained one evening that his shoulders hurt, later waking up in the middle of the night. His lungs were filled with fluid.

Fitz said dry drowning most commonly occurs in young children. Though both can supposedly occur hours or even days after leaving the water, "dry drowning" evidently happens after an inflammatory reaction to water, while "secondary drowning" happens when a small amount of water causes pulmonary edema.

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According to the CDC, children one to four have the highest rates of drowning. These terms are typically avoided by doctors and agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who do not distinguish between "wet" and "dry" drowning.

"Children that are breathing faster, working harder to breathe, or having other signs that there might be trouble such as feeling very exhausted, vomiting or just really not acting themselves in some other sort of way", Pattishall said. His mother, Tara Delgado, said paramedics and doctors tried to save her son.

But what they thought was simply a common stomach bug, turned out to be their worst nightmare, when a week later, Frankie woke up and took his last breath in his father's arms.

The CDC says dry or secondary drowning make up only one to two percent of drowning deaths, but it's important to know the symptoms. The reaction causes the vocal chords to spasm (laryngospasm reflex) and that causes them to close. However, other dry drowning incidents have made headlines in recent years.

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Secondary drowning results from the child actually taking water into the lungs. He was only 4 years old, he had so much life to live.

It seemed impossible - mum Tara Delgado said he was only in knee-deep water. "He was loved by so many people ... the world lost a handsome soul".

Frankie's funeral will be held Saturday at Compean Funeral Home. The world lost a lovely soul, ' a statement on the page reads.

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