Dry drowning caused the death of a little boy from Texas, US, a week after he went swimming, according to doctors.

Francisco Delgado III, 4, died last Saturday after he swam at the Texas City Dike over the Memorial Day weekend.

The boy’s family said the child showed symptoms including vomiting and diarrhea, until he eventually stopped breathing.

“Out of nowhere, he just woke up. He said ahhh,” Francisco Delgado Jr., father of the boy told ABC Eyewitness News.

“He took his last breath and I didn’t know what to do no more.”

KHOU reported that doctors found fluid in the boy’s lungs and around his heart, which seems to show that the boy died of dry drowning.

Dry drowning and secondary drowning account for about 2 per cent of drowning incidents.

Dry drowning occurs when a small amount of water irritates the vocal cords, causing them to spasm and close up the airway.

It usually happens soon after exiting the water and the person would have trouble passing air into their lungs.

Secondary drowning occurs when water gets into the lungs and causes a condition known as pulmonary edema, which is the buildup of fluid in the air sacs.

It can take up to 24 hours before a person shows signs of distress due to secondary drowning.

Signs of dry drowning

Symptoms of dry drowning and secondary drowning may include coughing, chest pain, trouble breathing and feeling extremely tired.

Experts advise parents to think of drowning as a process rather than an end result. Dry drowning or secondary drowning can occur at different times after a person inhales water. – Reuters