Today, let’s talk about diving safety. While doing laps in the pool can be great exercise, sometimes we just need a little extra adventure to add to the fun. Even though it’s an enjoyable pool activity, diving can be risky.
Luckily, there are several precautions you can take to protect yourself from injuries that are caused by diving. These will help to prevent any serious injuries often caused by diving.
DIVE WITH YOUR HANDS IN FRONT OF YOU
Always steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the swimming pool.
DON’T DIVE FROM THE SIDE
If you must dive from the side of an in-ground pool, or there is no diving board, then enter the water feet first, which would be jumping, not diving.
DIVE ONLY FROM THE END OF THE DIVING BOARD
Ideally, a diving board is positioned in the safest place near the pool for practicing dives or jumps. And one way to do that is being on the edge of the board.
NEVER DIVE INTO ABOVE GROUND POOLS
Above-ground swimming pools are too shallow for safe diving, regardless of how experienced the diver might be or how large the pool appears to be.
DON’T DIVE IF YOU HAVE BEEN USING DRUGS OR ALCOHOL
Yes, that says dive, not drive, although you shouldn’t do either. Drinking alcohol or using drugs prior to or while diving could impair your reaction time, which may be too slow. Over half of diving injuries and deaths involve alcohol and/or drug use. Even small amounts can result in injury.
NEVER DIVE HEAD-FIRST DOWN A SLIDE
Improper use of swimming pool slides can present the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head-first, go down feet-first only.
DON’T DIVE OR JUMP OFF A ROOF OR BUILDING
We’ve all seen it done in movies or maybe even at parties, a drunk frat boy or two decide to entertain everyone by jumping off the roof or balcony into the pool. Don’t even think about it.
AVOID THE SHALLOW END
Look at the shape and length of the pool or waterfront bottom to be sure the diving area is large and deep enough for diving. A good rule of thumb: It should be twice your height to accomplish the whole dive.
DON’T DIVE THROUGH TOYS
It may look fun, but diving through inflatable toys or inner tubes can be an invitation for disaster. You can misjudge your aim, and collide into the side of the pool, among other mishaps.
TAKE A DIVING CLASS
Diving is a graceful and precise skill and sport. If you are interested, take classes through a reputable swimming organization.
Diving in residential pools is not a smart idea, and many areas have banned the use or sale of diving boards for private pools. But with those precautions above, hopefully you can still enjoy the fun.