Boy dies of 'dry drowning'
Some 3,600 people drowned in the US in 2005 and about 10 to 15 percent of those deaths were "dry drowning."
Dry drowning can occur up to 24 hours after a small amount of water gets into the lungs.
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.”
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.
Signs of 'dry drowning':
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.