Whether your child is playing in a pool or at the beach, you're undoubtedly keeping a watchful eye on them, concerned about a bevy of potential dangers. Still, accidents can happen, and awareness and information can go a long way to preempting a tragic turn of events. After a scary incident that could have taken her 4-year-old's life, a mom in Florida is warning parents about the risk of dry drowning.
Lacey Grace, a 29-year-old mom from Bradenton, Florida, took to Facebook on April 19 to share what happened to her daughter Elianna. The little girl "was playing in the pool with a 'pool noodle' on Saturday, and as many many children do every day, she was blowing in one end and blowing water out the other," Grace wrote. "By 100% freak accident, Elianna put her mouth to blow out at the same time someone blew in the other end, causing the water to shoot directly down her throat. She threw up immediately, but didn’t really have any other notable things happen. 30 minutes after the 'accident,' she was totally fine - normal, playing, eating, etc."
But the next day, Elianna had a fever. "Kids get fevers, this is normal," Grace noted. "I didn’t think much." The next day she slept most of the day but "still overall looked fine." She went to school the following day, Wednesday, and Grace got a call from the school that her daughter's fever was back. "I kept replaying that pool scene in my head and remembered reading a story last year about a dad in Texas whose son passed away because he went untreated after inhaling a bunch of pool water," she wrote. "I wasn’t going to let that be Elianna. We went from school to the urgent care, hoping the doctor would say 'her lungs sound great, it’s just viral, etc.' We were there about 10 minutes when the doctor said to get her to the nearest ER as soon as possible. Her heart rate was crazy high, her oxygen was low, and her skin was turning purple which suggested chemical infection."
At the ER, doctors discovered that Elianna had fluid in her lungs and pneumonia caused by the inhaled water. She was put on oxygen and given antibiotics for the infections, but the next day, she had made "zero improvement," Grace told TODAY. The physicians switched her antibiotics and started nebulizer treatments, and soon, she was showing signs of recovery.
Thankfully, Elianna is now on the mend. Meanwhile, Grace's coworkers have set up a GoFundMe page to help support the family as they face a mountain pile of medical bills.
Grace points to the tragic story of Frankie Delgado's untimely and tragic death due to dry drowning as what lead her to take Elianna to urgent care. “I would have never acted the way I did if it wasn’t for the mom who put the story out,” Grace explained to TODAY. And it's for that reason that she wants to share her story with other parents.
Symptoms of dry drowning include: Rapid, labored breathing, chest pain, vomiting, excessive tiredness, behavior that is not typical or acting "off," sleepiness or low energy, and irritability.
"I don’t want moms to be afraid to let their kids have fun,” Grace told TODAY. “But if you think your kid inhaled water … pay attention.”