When it’s a hot, sunny day, it might be tempting to jump headfirst into a pool or lake. But before you take the plunge, here are a few safety tips to prevent you from sustaining a head injury and regretting that dive for the rest of your life.
 




A few sobering figures
  • Diving is the leading sports-related cause of spinal cord injuries.
  • 95% of diving injuries occur in water 1.5 m deep or less.
  • Over half of diving injuries and deaths involve alcohol and/or drug use.
  • The average person who suffers a diving-related spinal cord injury is male, 17–22 years old, with no formal training in diving and who is visiting the location for the first time.
  • Over 40% of diving-related spinal cord injuries occur in backyard pools.
Six essential tips to remember

1- Test with your feet
In both familiar and unfamiliar water, always enter feet first to be sure of the water depth and be aware of any hazards. Check for objects under the surface such as logs, stumps, boulders and pilings, and be aware of variable or changing depths.

2- Think with your head
There are many factors to consider when determining whether or not it is safe to dive: height, weight and skill level of the diver; length and depth of the diving area; and the height from which the dive will be taken. There isn't a specific water depth that will be safe for all divers.

Only dive in clear, unobstructed water with a depth of at least twice your height.
 
3- Do you really know how to dive?
Diving headfirst into water should be avoided unless you are properly trained and certain that the water is deep enough.
 
Learn about our programs called Dive Smart (for children 11 and under) and Sudden Impact (for adults and youth 12 and up). These DVD programs are aimed at preventing diving-related injuries in pools and natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes.

4- Follow the rules
In open-water settings, obey "No Diving" signs/markings and diving depth regulations.

5- Be careful in backyard pools! 
Most in-ground home and hotel pools, even those fitted with a diving board, are unsafe for diving, particularly for adult males. The deep end is often too short and the diver can strike their head on the slope of the pool leading up toward the shallow end.
 
6- Don’t drink and dive
Avoid alcohol when swimming or diving, as even small amounts can increase the risk of injury.
 

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