Diving and Safe Water Entries
Before diving, it is important to think about HOW you’ll enter the water, and to make WISE CHOICES before you go.
- Diving is the leading sports-related cause of spinal-cord injuries.
- Many diving incidents result in quadriplegia – a partial or complete loss of functioning in legs, arms and the trunk area. Almost 90% of people with serious injuries caused by careless diving are confined to a wheelchair FOR LIFE.
- 95% of diving injuries occur in water 5 feet deep or less, in an unsupervised setting with no warning signs.
- The average diving-related spinal injury casualty is male, 17-22 years old, with no formal training in diving.
- Diving incidents often occur during a first-time visit to the location.
- Over 50% of diving injuries/deaths involve alcohol and/or drug abuse.
- Over 40% of spinal injuries caused by careless diving occur in backyard pools.
Diving can be a fun activity; however, it can also lead to serious spinal cord injury and death. Parents can help prevent spinal cord injuries by setting a good example of where and how to enter water safely.
In familiar and unfamiliar water, always go in FEET FIRST THE FIRST TIME!
- Obey “No Diving” signs/markings and diving depth regulations.
- Check the shape of the pool or waterfront bottom to be sure diving area is large enough and deep enough for the intended dive. It should be twice your height for the whole dive.
- Dive only where there is ample clearance from the point of entry to the up-slope in front of the take-off point (i.e. deck or dock). The presence of a diving board does not necessarily mean that it is safe to dive. Pools at homes, motels and hotels may not be safe for diving.
- Dive in clear, unobstructed water. Always check first for objects under the surface such as logs, stumps, boulders and pilings, and be aware of variable or changing depths.
- Always enter the water FEET FIRST THE FIRST TIME, to be sure of the water depth and be aware of any hazards.
Sudden Impact/Dive Smart
This program is aimed at preventing diving-related injuries in pools, and natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes. The two DVD programs discuss the common causes of diving related injuries, strategies to minimize the risk and deal with dangerous situations safely, as well as offering diving tips and technique to make diving safer and more fun. The programs use dramatizations of realistic events and peer testimonials to describe the real dangers and life changing consequences of diving injuries.
Available together Sudden Impact/Dive Smart includes a leader’s guide to support the presentation and open a dialogue with youth and teens.
Sudden Impact/Dive Smart program has been created through the efforts of the ThinkFirst-SportSmart Sudden Impact Committee, whose members include: Canadian Red Cross, Diving Plongeon Canada, Health and Physical Education Department, Toronto District School Board, Krembil Family Foundation, Lifesaving Society, Ontario Camping Association, Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada, Toronto Western Hospital.