As summer comes into full swing and swimming abounds, take note of these simple precautions for injury prevention. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, nearly 26,000 people are treated in the emergency room every year for diving-related injuries.
- 911 – Always be prepared for an emergency situation, know how to reach help if needed
- Weather – Check the weather report before swimming; lightning storms can be very dangerous while in the water
- Don't Swim Alone – Inexperienced swimmers should never swim alone and should also have a floatation device if needed
- Injuries – Never underestimate the severity of an injury, follow-up with a doctor
- Never dive into shallow water
- Always check the depth of the water before you dive in
- If you are in a lake and unsure of the depth of the water, enter feet first
- When diving off of a diving board, do not run and do not jump off at the same time as others
- Before diving, be sure to check the surrounding area for other swimmers
- Exercise – Take time to warm up and stretch properly before swimming laps
- Illness – Do not swim if you do not feel well, are tired, have a fever, or are dehydrated
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol and swimming can impair both your skills and judgement, causing injury or drowning
Keep yourself and others safe while swimming this summer by following these simple guidelines. And remember to take extra precaution while diving into a pool or lake to avoid head and/or spinal injuries which can be very serious and cause permanent damage.