WHY WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS

“Why do you avoid swimming pools?”

From time to time, people ask us why we don’t allow our daughter Sophia to dip in swimming pools. Some said “Kawawa naman ang anak mo, hindi makapaligo sa pool!” We let some grins and sardonic remarks passed by. The reason is simple: the last time she swam in a pool, it endangered her life. She didn’t drown, but she got something that resulted her 2-weeks hospitalization and she almost died.

THE DISEASE

It was the last week of April 2017 when Sophia complained that she was not feeling well. She had high fever, at least 38.5 C with bad cough. We thought it was just flu or asthma attack, but when we saw rashes on her tummy, we immediately brought her to the doctor’s clinic.


DAY 1- Dengue?

Initial diagnosis was Dengue fever. After consultation, her pediatrician ordered for Sophia’s hospital confinement. We were so worried because her condition worsened after few hours. She couldn’t swallow foods. Even drinking was painful for her. At the back of my mind, I know it was not Dengue.

Then the doctor told us to backtrack her activities for the past week. We remembered that she swam in a public swimming pool in Laguna during a family outing. The pool was crowded because it was Black Saturday. The doctor was pretty sure that Sophia got sicked due to that.

WHY WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
THE POOL WHERE SOPHIA GOT THE DISEASE
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
THE POOL- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

Day 2- Painful Blood Extractions

The screaming during blood extractions was hard to watch. Sophia said the pain was excruciating that she didn’t want another nurse to come inside the room. Sadly, blood extraction should be done every 6 hours.

Her dengue test result was negative. I thought it was a relief, but believe me, it was more horrible to not know what virus or sickness your child has. Her doctor was trying to figure out if it was typhoid fever, measles or scarlet fever, etc.

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
RASHES AND FEVER- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
RASHES- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

Day 3- Worsening Condition

Sophia was not eating anymore. She couldn’t move her arms and limbs which were aching. The appearance of her rashes changed again. Doctors were giving her medicines but her fever kept on reaching 40C. I could clearly remember the instruction about her medicine, “don’t expose it to light”. In short, ‘yung dextrose niya nakabalot sa black na plastic hanggang dulo. Hindi pwedeng mailawan. This could really tell it was not a typical medicine.

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
RASHES CHANGING- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
RASHES ALL OVER- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

Day 4- Worst

Her pediatrician-pulmonologist was very worried because she could see Sophia’s condition was worsening. She sought help from an Infectious disease specialist and a hematologist. That afternoon, Sophia underwent several tests again.

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
HER RASHES GETTING WORSE, WE PUT HER LIP BALM BECAUSE HER LIPS CRACKED- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
ALMOST LIKE A HAZING VICTIM- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

Day 5- Kawasaki Disease?

Three doctors came in to our room. They explained that Sophia was not responding well to medicines. And then, they mentioned something I never heard before, KAWASAKI DISEASE. What the heck is that, I thought that time. They said Sophia was exhibiting 4 symptoms of the disease such as strawberry tongue, high fever, rashes and painful joints. The medication of Kawasaki disease was rare and expensive, they added.

That night, we decided to transfer Sophia to another hospital.

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
HER RASHES STARTED TO DARKEN- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
ALMOST BLACK AND BLUE- WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

After several days, her new doctor who was a pedia cardiologist said Sophia was getting better without the Kawasaki medication. It might still be Kawasaki or ADENOVIRUS. But one thing is for sure, Sophia got the disease in the public swimming pool during Holy Week.

WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS
DIAGNOSIS, WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
SOPHIA GETTING BETTER. WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS
LAST DAY IN HOSPITAL || WHY DO WE AVOID SWIMMING POOLS, TEAM UY TRAVELS

Since then, her pedia and other doctors advised Sophia to refrain from swimming in public pool or spring until she reaches the age of 7.

Some of our trips have no swimming activity and we avoid hotels with pool.


Even though Sophia is already 7 years old, we’re not still allowing her to dip in swimming pools. Every time I see swimming pool, I remember Sophia’s rashes. Although some parents might raise eyebrows whenever I turn down pool party invitation, we hope they’ll understand that we just don’t want THOSE GRUELING AND TERRIBLE DAYS to happen again, those days we almost lost a battle.

11 Comments

  1. So scary! Happy she made a full recovery!

  2. yanamarchuk says:

    Oh man that sounds so scary! thanks for sharing your experience with us!

  3. Petra says:

    What a horrible experience, and I believe everyone can understand the decision to not go to a pool anymore.

  4. Papa Bida says:

    I am sorry to hear what happen to baby girl. But soon she will be stronger than ever. Glad you fight for it. Blessings to you.

  5. semmarys moorthy says:

    OMG poor baby. Thank for sharing your experience it will mothers like me.

  6. Agnes Dela Cruz says:

    That looks awful. Poor baby, we are not much a fan on going to public pools.

  7. Wow that is crazy, I’m so sorry that happened.

  8. Ya, I do not go for the public pools too. It’s definitely not hygienic.

  9. OMG! Poor baby. I feel sad she went though that.
    I’m glad it’s now over.

  10. Dris says:

    Oh my GOD! so sad im sorry praying for her

  11. Elizabeth O says:

    What a scary experience. I’m glad that she recovered and is doing well. Praise God.

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