Summer Tips For Diving Safety
As people throng at lake cabins and community pools to beat the summer heat, we want you to look before you leap into inviting waters.
Water sports are a hallmark of summer fun, but diving into pools and lakes also causes 26,000 orthopedic injuries each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Approximately 800 of those injuries result in paralysis.
Diving injuries are most common among children who are 17 years of age or younger. The good news is that many of these injuries can be prevented. We have some guidelines for you and your family to follow that will prevent serious diving injuries, and keep the focus on safe water fun.
- Teach young children about diving safety before they get in the water, and repeat the lesson often. When children are in the water, make sure they are supervised at all times.
- Never dive in shallow water; this includes the shallow end of the pool. Before diving, check the water depth. If you are diving from a high point, the water depth should be at least double the distance from the diving board or platform to the water. If your diving platform is 10 feet above the water, the water depth must be at least 20 feet to be safe.
- Don’t dive into water where visibility is not clear. Murky water could be hiding underwater rocks, tree trunks, or other obstructions. In the ocean, changing tides and waves cause sands to shift and create sandbars.
- Never dive into an above-ground pool. These pools are dangerously shallow.
- Don’t allow multiple people on a diving board. Divers should dive from the end of the board. Don’t run on the board or bounce more than once. When the dive is completed, swim away from the diving area immediately to give the next diver clear unobstructed water.
- Do not use alcohol before or during diving—or any other water sports. Alcohol has an effect on balance, coordination, and judgment.
- When in doubt, enter feet first.
If you are on the scene when a diver makes a dive into shallow water, be prepared to give immediate assistance. When a diver fractures their neck, they may not be able to move their arms or legs, and may also struggle to breathe. By following these diving guidelines and supervising children while they play near water, you can ensure that your summertime activities on the water are fun filled and safe for the entire family.
Sports medicine: Expert bone, joint, and muscle care
From Olympians to pro athletes to youth sports and those that just want to be more active – Summit Orthopedics delivers expert care by fellowship-trained sports medicine physicians. If you are recently injured or concerned about ongoing pain, Summit Orthopedics sports medicine specialists have the expertise to evaluate your discomfort and develop a plan to quickly and safely help you get back to being active.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and Western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as several additional community clinics.
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