Pool safety takes many forms. Today, let’s talk about diving danger. As we have seen from recent research, the diving board can be deceptively dangerous. While there are often posted signs and warnings, there is much more to diving than meets the eye.

New Research of Diving Danger

According to a new study, the impact of head-first, hand-first and feet-first diving can be quite a bit more dangerous than many people realize. In fact, your diving form can seriously alter the likelihood of injury depending on the height from which you are diving. The study, titled “Slamming Dynamics of Diving and its Implications for Diving-Related Injuries,” was published in the Science Advances.

According to the study, untrained divers were shown to suffer from spinal cord and neck injuries when diving from over eight meters in a head-first dive position. For a dive that starts hands-first, a collarbone injury is likely above 12 meters. Finally, a knee injury is more likely when feet-first diving higher than 15 meters.


Understanding the Study

Learning how to swim is important for everyone, but as we can see, there is much more to learn about water safety. In the study, 3D-printed models of human and animal body parts were tested in various conditions. The objects were plunged into water in a way that mimics the force of diving.

With this data, the researchers plotted the height and impact with the force that muscles, ligaments and bones would experience. This helped to predict likely injuries and tensions for both humans and the tested other species. Like our monthly drowning stats posts, this information can help water safety experts to prevent against further injuries.

In the animal part models that were tested, there are different heights that seem to be safer. The bodies of human beings and those of animals have different skills and stress points. With careful research, we can learn safer diving techniques and practices. For example, for humans, diving feet-first seems to be safer from higher perches.

Diving Board Safety

Beyond proper diving techniques, there are plenty of ways to avoid diving danger at home. For one, only a licensed professional should install a diving board. This will ensure that the swimming area is properly secured and up to proper safety standards.

Overall, proper signage should be placed in the pool area. Additionally, be sure to provide some extra pool safety rules for the diving board. It may seem like an afterthought, but besides marking water depth, clearly visible warnings can do wonders for preventing diving danger. For example:

  • No running near the board
  • Never dive off the side of the board.
  • Divers should avoid tricks and other risky dives.
  • If using an above ground pool, always assume that diving is not safe.
  • Like many water-based activities, diving should not be attempted when you are alone in the pool. Always dive when a swim buddy is present.

These are just basic warnings about the pool and diving safety. Diving danger is a serious problem. However, diving can also be excellent fun, if treated with respect.