During the summer, kids and adults enjoy being under the sun, having fun at public and private pools. However, there are a number of injuries resulting from pool diving. Reports say that there are between 500 to 700 cases of serious spinal injuries a year. Other pool diving accidents also include drowning, especially when the person hits the bottom of the pool.
Reports also say that 64% of these accidents happen in in-ground pools while 36% happen in above ground pools. In-ground pools are pools that are permanently installed in public and private pools, while above ground pools are pools that are set up in backyards for families who are on a tight budget. Anyway, it's never safe to dive in an above ground pool.
About 80% of these dive accidents take place at depths of 4 feet and less, 70% are from headfirst dives, at less than 10% is from diving off a board. Dr. Charles Rosen, one of the top neurosurgeon in the country even discussed the risks of pool diving in one of his videos.
Below is a more detailed discussion of the injuries divers can experience.
Common Injuries and How to Prevent Them
• Spinal Injuries
These happen when someone dives head first, thinking that the pool is deeper than it is. A tremendous amount of force gets applied to the cervical spine, fracturing the spine. This results of a spinal cord injury, causing a permanent weakness of the legs and/or arms, or worse, death.
To prevent spinal injuries, follow the “Feet first, first time.” This means you should go in with your feet first before you jump into the pool. This will help you determine the depth of the pool.
• Head Injuries
These happen to stronger individuals, particularly big, adolescent boys. In this scenario, he is able to jump from a diving board with such force, but instead of going down into the water, he goes up into the slope of the pool water. When his head hits the water, his head gets injured, so even in a pool that has a “deep" end, it can still be potentially dangerous to divers.
The only way to prevent this is to be aware that this can happen and to be very careful when diving from a board.
This happens when a diver inhales water while being submerged in the water. This is the most common cause of death for children between ages 1 to 4.
To prevent this, parents must always look for the children's safety in the pool premises. They should also have an expertise in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in order for them to prepare for such incident. As they say, “prevention is better than cure" so it is recommended that parents know how to perform CPR.
Aside from that, they should teach their kids on how to swim. Reports show that kids who know how to swim are less likely to drown. Lastly, they should not depend on pool toys alone. Their kids’ safety is of utmost importance, so it's only important to keep a close eye on them.
• Wrist Injuries
These happen because divers tend to grasp their hands one on top of the other while their palms face toward the water. As they dive, their wrists are at risk of being bent backwards. Repetitively doing this can cause pain, swelling, irritation, and stiffness of the wrist joint.
The good news is that this can be treated with rest, ice, and drugs that are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory. To prevent further injury, it is recommended to tape or brace the wrist.
• Shoulder Injuries
These happen when a diver enters the water with his extended arms get forced back. This result to shoulder dislocation, and will require medical help to get the shoulders back in place.
Shoulder dislocation is high, especially for youths who participate in diving. To prevent its recurrence, you can perform shoulder strengthening exercises, use shoulder braces, or worse, get a surgery.
• Knee Injuries
These happen when a diver has poor flexibility and enters the water. With so many jumps necessary for diving, a lot of pressure is caused on the kneecap. This results to pain in the front of the knee. Poor flexibility and strength imbalances also contribute to the pain of the knee. The best way to treat it is to undergo physical therapy sessions.
These are the risks kids and adults face as they dive into the water. It is very important that you know these dangers so you can prevent them and focus on enjoying the summer. Make fun memories with your family by being well-informed!