Dry drowning explained - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dry drowning explained

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Both doctors and parents have their eyes on a rare health condition after a young boy apparently died from drowning long after he got out of the water.

It's called dry drowning and a four-year-old from Texas recently died from it. It happened when the boy was knocked over by a wave while playing in the water. He was fine, but died a week later. Doctors believe his lungs filled with fluid the day after.

"He went like ahhh, he looked at me with these painfully hurtful eyes like I've never seen him before like that," said Francisco Delgado Jr., boy's dad.

The death is pulling on the heart strings on many eastern Iowans. Some are watching their children a little closer as they play in the water at places like Lost Island Waterpark. The park's aquatic director Matt Nieman says it's rare, but the whole staff is knows about it.

"It generates pulmonary edema...it's water inside of the lungs that your body is forcing in there and it's what's trying to help you that is actually causing the drowning," said Nieman.

Some parents say they didn't know what dry drowning was and other say it's something that worries them, but the staff at Lost Island is trained to know the symptoms and inform parents.

"It's part of our training...like I said it's one of those rare things that happens so we just have to be kind of broad in telling people to keep an eye of themselves and make sure they're feeling okay after they have some sort of incident inside of the water," said Nieman.

The Texas boy's grieving family says they hope sharing their story will help other parents avoid such a tragedy.

"Dry drowning, bring that out to the world and let everybody know that this exists," said the boy's parents. "That's all I want to do is spread awareness because I don't want no one to go through what we're going through." 

Even though the drowning incident happened in Texas lifeguards in Iowa are reminding parents to keep a close eye on their children after they get out of the water...even days after.
 

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