Busted's Charlie Simpson issues heartfelt warning to parents over 'secondary drowning' risks after son rushed to hospital

Busted's Charlie Simpson has spoken out to alert others to the dangers after his son was taken to hospital on holiday.

Busted's Charlie Simpson heartfelt warning
(Image credit: Getty)

Busted's Charlie Simpson has issued a heartfelt warning to parents over the risks of 'secondary drowning (opens in new tab)' after his son Jago, four, was rushed to hospital whilst on holiday.

The songwriter and musician took to Instagram to share his family holiday nightmare experience in the hope of alerting others to the potentially 'fatal' danger that can occur just hours after someone has been underwater.

It come after parents are given warnings about babies choking (opens in new tab) and dangers of children using online apps (opens in new tab)

Charlie explained how his second child (opens in new tab) had been underwater swimming in a swimming pool when he emerged "spluttering and coughing". Despite initially recovering from the episode, later that evening after dinner he started to vomit and became lethargic.

A doctor was called and he was diagnosed with food poisoning but when Charlie relayed the pool incident and something he read about secondary drowning, further tests were carried out and his son was confirmed to have suffered secondary drowning.

Charlie explained, "After hearing this, his demeanour changed and he told us to go to A&E straight away. During the hour long journey to hospital, Jago’s condition deteriorated and he seemed to be drifting in and out of consciousness. He was rushed through to have CT scans and X-Rays and to our absolute horror, we were told that he had water in his lungs and was minutes away from pneumonia."

Jago spent the next three days in hospital and Charlie added, "I’m so thankful for the amazing care he received. It was the worst thing we have ever experienced. The scariest thing of all, is that had we not taken him to hospital when we did, the outcome could have been very different."

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It's not just the heatwave that parents and children need to be aware of the risks when it comes to swimming in water, as an activity like swimming in a pool on holiday or at a local leisure centre can come with the risk of secondary drowning. 

Even a child who happens to go under water during bath time and inhaling water, could potentially be at risk too.

Charlie warned, "After doing a lot of research, secondary drowning is seemingly quite rare but even so, not talked about. It takes less than half a glass of inhaled water to drown. Symptoms can start as long as 72 hours after the event which can make them hard to diagnose. These include vomiting, fever, laboured breathing and lethargy."

Charlie, who has son Jago, four, and Arlo, seven, with wife Anna Barnard, stressed, "I truly hope no one ever has to experience this but I hope to be able to raise some awareness of this frightening condition in case they do."

Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.