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Use Caution When Diving into Water

When it's a steaming hot day and there's a refreshing pool right before you, your natural instinct may be to dive right in.

However, experts warn that you should think twice before taking that flying leap.

Since you're literally going in head first, diving can cause very serious injury, including brain or neck injuries, paralysis or quadriplegia, cautions the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

That doesn't mean diving should be avoided altogether, but the CPSC says a few precautions can make all the difference in keeping the fun in diving and avoiding tragedy.

For one thing, when you dive, make sure to keep your hands in front of you and always guide yourself up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the pool.

Don't ever dive into above-ground pools, they warn, because they're simply too shallow. If you jump into a below-ground pool from the side, always go in feet first. When you do use a diving board, always jump from the very end and not from the sides.

Pool slides can also pose a big hazard -- don't ever go down slides head-first or jump off the sides. Whatever you do, don't dive if you have been using alcohol or drugs, as such influences can dangerously slow your reaction time.

Because drowning is the leading cause of death to children under 5, the CPSC strongly urges that children be closely watched at every moment when they are playing in or near a pool area. Always keep rescue equipment near a pool, and if an adult has knowledge of how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, it can make the difference between life and death in some situations.

More information

For more insight into some other common pool problems, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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