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.
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