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Diving injuries: A summer hazard

Diving is not always a safe sport to participate in. There are serious risks, like breaking the neck or suffering head injuries. Tetraplegia and other severe cervical spinal cord injuries commonly lead to life-changing injuries.

Diving injuries are a leading cause of spinal cord injury among men and women. These injuries normally occur during the summer, which means that they're most likely associated with swimming during that time. If the weather was warmer all year, then they'd be more likely to occur throughout the year and the number of injuries would also increase, statistically.

Diving creates a risk for people based on the setting. In a diving pool, the diver could hit the diving board on the way into the water. In a lake or pond, the water could be too shallow or could have debris that causes an impact.

To avoid diving injuries, there are a few things people can do. To start with, if the area isn't designed for diving, always enter with the feet first. You should never dive into the shallow area of a pool, either. Sometimes, injuries are caused by jumping too far and hitting the side of a pool or the bank of a pond or lake; keep in mind distance when you jump. Finally, always dive with someone else present, so there is someone there to recognize if you are injured and need help.

Anyone can get hurt diving, but sometimes, the pool owner or lake owner is responsible due to negligence. If you get hurt, know your rights. You could be in a position to obtain compensation.

Source: Shepherd Center, "Diving Injury," accessed April 20, 2018

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