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To All Parents: this can occur after swimming or bathing an infant or child

  1. #1
    Neha is offline Banned
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    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong

    To All Parents: this can occur after swimming or bathing an infant or child

    Boy's death highlights a hidden danger: Dry drowning

    10-year-old died more than an hour after getting out of swimming pool

    Boy dies 1 hour after swimming
    June 5: Ten-year-old Johnny Jackson drowned about an hour after swimming in a pool. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports on the dangers of dry drowning, and TODAY's Meredith Vieira talks to pediatrician Dr. Daniel Rauch about hazards children face in the water.

    By Mike Celizic contributor
    updated 6:58 a.m. PT, Thurs., June. 5, 2008
    The tragic death of a South Carolina 10-year-old more than an hour after he had gone swimming has focused a spotlight on the little-known phenomenon called "dry drowning" - and warning signs that every parent should be aware of.
    "I've never known a child could walk around, talk, speak and their lungs be filled with water," Cassandra Jackson told NBC News in a story broadcast Thursday on TODAY.
    On Sunday, Jackson had taken her son, Johnny, to a pool near their home in Goose Creek, S.C. It was the first time he'd ever gone swimming - and, tragically, it would be his last.

    At some point during his swim, Johnny got some water in his lungs. He didn't show any immediate signs of respiratory distress, but the boy had an accident in the pool and soiled himself. Still, Johnny, his sister and their mother walked home together.
    "We physically walked home. He walked with me," Jackson said, still trying to understand how her son could have died. "I bathed him, and he told me that he was sleepy."
    Spongy material
    Later, she went into his room to check on him. "I walked over to the bed, and his face was literally covered with this spongy white material," she said. "And I screamed."
    A family friend, Christine Meekins, was visiting and went to see what was wrong. "I pulled his arm and said, 'Johnny! Johnny!' " Meekins told NBC. "There was no response. I opened one of his eyes and I just knew inside my heart that it was something really bad."
    Johnny was rushed to a local hospital, but it was too late. Johnny had drowned, long after he got out of the swimming pool.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control, some 3,600 people drowned in 2005, the most recent year for which there are statistics. Some 10 to 15 percent of those deaths was classified as "dry drowning," which can occur up to 24 hours after a small amount of water gets into the lungs. In children, that can happen during a bath.

    Pediatrician Dr. Daniel Rauch

    Dr. Daniel Rauch, a pediatrician from New York University Langone Medical Center, told TODAY's Meredith Vieira that there are warning signs that every parent should be aware of. Johnny Jackson exhibited some of them, but unless a parent knows what to look for, they are easily overlooked or misinterpreted.
    The three important signs, he said, are difficulty breathing, extreme tiredness and changes in behavior. All are the result of reduced oxygen flow to the brain.
    Johnny had two of those signs - he was very tired when he got home, and he had had the accident in the pool. But like most parents, Cassandra Jackson had no idea this could be related to water in his lungs.
    Delayed reaction
    Rauch said that the phenomenon of dry drowning is not completely understood. But medical researchers say that in some people, a small amount of inhaled water can have a delayed-reaction effect.
    "It can take a while for the process to occur and to set in and cause difficulties," Rauch said. "Because it is a lung process, difficulty breathing is the first sign that you would be worried about."
    The second sign is extreme fatigue, which isn't always easy to spot. "It's very difficult to tell when your child is abnormally tired versus normal tired after a hot day and running around in the pool," Rauch said. "The job of the lungs is to get oxygen into the blood and your brain needs oxygen to keep working, so when your brain isn't getting oxygen, it can start doing funny things. One of them is becoming excessively tired, losing consciousness and the inability to be aroused appropriately."

    Finally, there are changes in behavior, Rauch said - another tough call when dealing with very small children, whose moods and behavior can change from one minute to the next.
    "Another response of the brain to not getting oxygen is to do different things," Rauch explained, saying parents should be concerned "if your child's abnormally cranky, abnormally combative - any dramatic change from their normal pattern."
    He admitted, "It is very difficult to pick this up sometimes." But spotting the warning signs and getting a suspected victim to an emergency room can save a life, he added.
    Victims of dry drowning are treated by having a breathing tube inserted so that oxygen can be supplied under pressure to the lungs. "Then we just wait for the lung to heal itself," he said.
    But for Cassandra Jackson, it's knowledge gained too late. She and Meekins sat in her home, looking at pictures of the bright and happy son who was no more.
    "He was very loving, full of life," the grieving mother said. "That was my little man."

  2. #2
    nursie is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    What a heartbreaking story. I've never heard of dry-drowning before. Thanks for posting this and making us all aware of this possibility. Especially now in this time of year, when most of us are bringing our kids to the outside pool...

  3. #3
    NAC is offline Registered User
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    Apr 2008
    Thanks for posting! I had never heard of it

  4. #4
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2007
    This is very upsetting. I'm not sure how we can stop our children from swallowing water when they swim or bathe.

  5. #5
    peainpod is offline Registered User
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    Aug 2007
    Mid Levels
    Just reading this gives me a chill to my heart. It's so scary, thinking about all of the scary things that can happen and just how vulnerable our little ones are. I think one of the most worrying parts of this story is that there really wasn't any negligence per se that can be attributed to the parents and therefore, I guess it means that it could happen to anyone.

  6. #6
    Sleuth is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Fo Tan
    While yes, it could happen to anyone and yes, it is a tragic story and you would hate to have it happen to anyone--but look at the numbers.
    At most 550 people might have died from this in the US all of 2005.
    Any idea how many Americans took a bath/shower/went swimming in 2005? The population of the US is 300 million.
    A single shower/bath/swim per day/per person would give you 90 billion chances per year of someone dying from this. 550 out of 90 billion is hardly cause for panic.
    This is some very rare genetic defect.

  7. #7
    Frenchy is offline Registered User
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    Jul 2007
    Ap Lei Chau
    It's a tragic accident, but don't freak out each time your kid swallow some water, it's not the same, as the water does not go into the lungs, it's different from breathing the water. If you are close to your kid and there is no accident, swallowing won't hurt him... apart from the dirty things we can find in a swimming pool !

  8. #8
    AforApple is offline Banned
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    Mar 2007
    Kennedy Town
    that is so scary. We went swimming the other day for 3 hours and my son swallowed some water... I rescued him. He did cough a few times. Then half an hour later he was complaining he was SO HUNGRY then STARVING. He never is hungry or ask for food.

    when I read this thread I got the chills. My son was extremely tired and his behavious was different - asking for food. This was coming from a 4 year old boy who has boundless energy to do 50m swim a day, 14 running laps of a small oval and then to the clubhouse to play some more (all in one day). On these days he doen't even feel hungry and definitely does not ask for food. I thank God that nothing progressed like the poor boy in the news. My heart goes to his family who is experiencing such loss.

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