Diving Safety: Myths and Facts of Diving in Shallow Water
According to the Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to reducing the number of diving injuries, drownings and near drowning injuries, and other aquatic accidents, there are a few common diving safety myths that can benefit us to know.
Myth 1. It is common knowledge that diving into shallow water can cause neck and spinal cord injury.
Truth. While most people know that there is a chance of hitting the bottom of the pool very few associate diving into five feet or less of water as a potential risk for neck or spinal cord injury. In fact, most people will not believe that such serious injury is truly potential.
Myth 2. People understand the meaning of “shallow water.”
Truth. Interviewing hundreds of recreational swimmers will result in a very low number of people actually understanding what “shallow water” is. Most will state a depth between one and one half feet and four feet. In fact, “shallow water” is a depth of five feet or less.
Myth 3. I know how to dive into a swimming pool without getting injured, I’ve been doing it since I was seven years old.
Truth. While most children are taught how to dive at an early age, and in water approximately four feet in depth, as they grow they do not know how to dive without injury. The reason is that as they take their annual plunges into private or public pools they are getting taller, and therefore the same depth as the year prior causes more risk of injury. Young swimmers should never be taught to dive into a depth of less than five feet, and the dangers of shallow water diving should be reinforced every year to minimize dangers.