Family & Parenting

Mom Warns About The Dangers Of ‘dry Drowning’

Ensure your kids stay safe this summer.

After her 4-year-old daughter, Elianna Grace, was hospitalized due to a “dry drowning” accident, her mom is speaking out to warn other parents about the danger. So what happened?

Lacey Grace says her daughter was playing with a pool noodle in her grandparents’ pool when the accident occurred.

She was blowing through one end of the noodle when someone else blew through the other end at the same time, causing her to inhale water.

Elianna threw up immediately, but appeared otherwise unharmed by the incident.

It wasn’t until days later that she developed a fever. At first, her mom did not connect her fever to the incident in the pool.

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When she got a call from Elianna’s school that the fever was back after having subsided, she remembered a story about a boy who died from so-called “dry drowning” after not immediately exhibiting any symptoms.

Grace rushed her daughter to urgent care, where she was then directed to the emergency room.

pool noodle photo
Flickr | Carol (vanhookc)

There, doctors performed a chest X-ray that showed inflammation and infection, which had been caused by pool chemicals.

She was then transferred by ambulance to a larger hospital.

She was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia, chemical pneumonitis and perihilar edema.

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She relied on oxygen to breathe and received antibiotics. After four days in the hospital, she was released to go home, one week after the incident.

Grace says the experience motivated her to warn other parents to immediately seek help if their child inhales water, even if they appear unharmed, as her daughter did.

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“I wonder if I would have taken her Monday, would she be better off? And I wonder if I waited longer what would have happened. It’s so scary,” she wrote in a post on Facebook.

The post is clearly resonating with people: it’s been shared 96,000 times, has more than 12,000 reactions and more than 600 comments.

You can read her full message below:

A GoFundMe page has since been set up to help the family with Elianna’s medical expenses.

The good news is that incidents of dry drowning, also known as secondary drowning, are extremely rare.

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But as the Graces’ story shows, it can happen. If a child had to be pulled from the water, they should always receive medical attention, even if they seem okay.

Some signs and symptoms of dry drowning include sleepiness, coughing, trouble breathing, vomiting and a change in behavior.

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Ensuring your child knows how to swim and keeping a close eye on them while in the water can also reduce the risk of accidents.