June 25, 2013 12:20 am
As temperatures rise this summer, a day at the pool becomes one of the top things to do. However, more than 237,500 swimming-related and 25,522 diving injuries were treated in 2012 in emergency rooms, doctors' offices and clinics, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) offer the following safety tips to avoid swimming and diving injuries:
- Don't ever dive into shallow water. Before diving, inspect the depth of the water to make sure it is deep enough for diving. If diving from a high point, make sure the bottom of the body of water is double the distance from which you're diving. For example, if you plan to dive from eight feet above the water, make sure the bottom of the body of water, or any rocks, boulders or other impediments are at least 16 feet under water.
- Never dive into above-ground pools
- Only one person at a time should stand on a diving board. Dive only off the end of the board and do not run on the board. Do not try to dive far out or bounce more than once. Swim away from the board immediately afterward to make room for the next diver.
- Do not swim alone or allow others to swim alone.
- Make sure children are supervised at all times. Backyard pools should have a 5-foot minimum high fence that completely surrounds it.
- Don't attempt to swim if tired, cold or overheated.
- An inexperienced swimmer should wear a life jacket in the water.
- Carefully monitor weather conditions before and while swimming. Avoid being in the water during storms, fog or high winds.
- Develop a plan for reaching medical personnel who can treat swimming-related injuries. Anyone watching swimmers near the water should learn CPR and be able to rescue them.
- Never swim or dive under the influence.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
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