4-year-old boy dies of 'dry drowning' days after going swimming

4-year-old boy dies of 'dry drowning' days after going swimming. (Credit: KTRK-TV) 

TEXAS CITY, Texas — A Texas family is warning others about a little-known summer danger after their 4-year-old son died days after he went swimming.

Francisco Delgado III, 4, passed away Saturday at East Houston Regional Hospital, according to ABC affiliate KTRK-TV.

Frankie's parents said he showed signs of an upset stomach shortly after swimming, but they didn't think much of it.


However, on Saturday morning, his father, Francisco Delgado Jr., said his son complained of his shoulders hurting before suddenly waking up hours later.

"Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said ahhh," Delgado told KTRK-TV. "He took his last breath and I didn't know what to do no more."

His mother, Tara Delgado, said paramedics and doctors tried to save her son.

"When she came in, she told us it's what's called dry drowning," Delgado said  "His lungs were full of fluid. There was nothing else they could do for him."

To prevent secondary drowning or dry drowning (when fluid causes the vocal cords to spasm and close), doctors recommend these water safety tips:

  • Watch your children closely around water
  • Only let them swim in areas with lifeguards
  • Never let your children swim alone
  • Enroll them in water safety classes, if possible
  • Fence off any pools you have at home

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral costs.

An autopsy is being performed on the little boy. The medical examiner will determine an official cause of death.