Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries that Occur in Swimming Pools

  • Type of pool – 64% of injuries occurred in below-ground swimming pools. 36% occurred in above-ground pools. The majority of injuries occurred in private residential swimming pools. Only 8% occurred in public pools and only 4% at country or swimming clubs.
  • Water depth – The majority of injuries occurred in shallow water of 4 feet or less. Very few injuries occurred in water depths greater than 8 feet.
  • Knowledge of the Pool – The injury occurred during the person’s first visit to that pool in 44% of the cases. In 28% of the cases, the injury occurred on the personþs first dive into that pool.
  • Type of Dive – Approximately 70% of injuries occurred as a result of an ordinary dive. Unusual dives accounted for almost 17% of injuries. Unintentional pushes accounted for 6% of injuries.
  • Event at the Pool – Almost half of these injuries occurred during a party. Respondents admitted that alcohol was involved in almost half of these injuries, however, drugs were rarely involved.

Pool Rules

. . . .for Users

  • Be familiar with the pool where you swim.
  • Know the water depth in the pool before you dive.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol when swimming or diving.
  • Do not swim or dive in pools that are poorly lit.
  • Do not swim alone.
  • Know proper diving techniques.

. . . for Owners

  • Have adequate fencing to keep people away from the pool when you are not there to supervise.
  • Provide adequate lighting when the pool is being used.
  • Have supervision or a lifeguard present, particularly during parties.
  • Clearly mark the depth of the pool.
  • Avoid serving alcohol to those who are using the pool

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