Another child has died from swimming this summer -- but not because he drowned. Seven-year-old Tevita Alatini died from a bacterial infection after swimming in a lake in California. What began as a painful rash on his side led to vomiting and a fever. His family rushed him to the hospital. He was given fluids and antibiotics. He was airlifted to another hospital. But it was too late -- he was dead the next day.
Doctors suspect it was a flesh-eating disease, though the cause of death is still being determined. Oh man, can we take another story about a child dying suddenly from a mysterious bacteria? It's just so sad! Just last week there was the boy who died from a small cut from a basketball game. What's going on?
Does it seem like there's been a rise in scary, fast-acting bacterial infections? Ever since Aimee Copeland came down with that horrific infection that took her hands, feet, and a leg, I feel like I've been hearing two things: These infections are extremely rare, and oh look, here's another incident!
I think we're going to see the day when parents check their children for even the tiniest scratches before they allow them to swim in a natural body of water. If they let them swim at all. And I know I'm becoming paranoid about every single cut my son gets.
Just in case you haven't already read this, here are the signs that should motivate you to take a cut seriously: A new wound appearing elsewhere on the body, pain disproportionate to the injury, pain in the same general region (but not directly in) the wound, and flu-like symptoms.
Now I'm going to take that list of symptoms and put them under my pillow so I can sleep at night. I'm sure knowing the warning signs may save lives -- but poor Tevita's death is just a reminder that sometimes cruel, horrible, unforeseeable things take our children away from us. My heart goes out to his family.
Have you ever just known something serious was wrong with your child even when the doctors didn't?
Image via KHOU