It's water fun season and the urge to plunge head-first into pools, lakes and waterholes is strong. Yet, diving is the sports activity most highly co-related to spinal cord injury. Heeding basic safety precautions can oftentimes make the difference between enjoyment and tragedy. In this week's post, we look at some eye-opening statistics and safety tips about diving and spinal cord injury.
Diving Injury Statistics
Looking at various numbers provides insight into the root cause of serious diving injuries. Statistics from the Red Cross reveal:
- Less than 1.5 meters is the depth of water in which the overwhelming majority of diving accidents take place.
- Alcohol and drug use are the factors related to more than half of all diving injuries and deaths.
- 4 out of 10 spinal cord injuries that take place in backyard pools.
- 2.7 meters, in a supervised diving setting, is the minimum depth of water in which spinal cord injury is rare.
Diving Safety Precautions
Preventing spinal cord injury from diving involves a few basics. One of the most important principles is to know in advance what lies beneath the water. Here are a few other tips:
- Obey the signage. "No Diving" and water-depth regulations are there for good reason.
- Always enter feet-first on the first dive whether you are familiar with the location or not.
- Know what's underneath. Conditions may have changed since your last dive. Check for hazards such as logs, concrete pilings, pool sloping and variable water depths.
- Don't be deceived by a diving board. Just because they're present doesn't automatically mean conditions are safe.
- Twice your height is the general minimum length and depth that water should measure for the entire duration of each dive.
- Avoid alcohol. Whether swimming or diving, even small amounts can increase your risk of injury.
Gluckstein Injury Lawyers is dedicated to promoting spinal cord safety for all. If you or a loved one has been injured, we're here to provide support.
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