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Diving Injuries: Research Findings and Recommendations for Reducing Catastrophic Injuries

August 30, 2000

Complete Document

Detail Summary

Active, Most Current

Additional Comments:
ISBN: 978-0-8493-2370-6
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Product Details:

  • Revision: August 30, 2000
  • Published Date: August 30, 2000
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: CRC Press (CRC)
  • Page Count: 273
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:


Diving, without question, is the most exciting and challenging activity associated with water; yet diving produces more quadriplegics than all other sports combined. Today there are an estimated 19,000 people sitting in wheelchairs as a result of breaking their necks when diving. I have spent the last 30 years studying the diving injury problem in the United States. This book contains the most comprehensive study of data related to diving injuries. It reports on 440 cases that occurred in swimming pools and 161 that occurred in water areas located in the natural environment.

The primary purpose of this book is to provide the public; governmental agencies; and those who design, plan, engineer, manufacture, sell, construct, regulate, own, and operate swimming pools and swimming beaches with essential information that I believe can enable them to perform their duties and functions with greater understanding and knowledge of the problem of safety as it relates to diving. It is further hoped that the publication will serve as a challenge to the thousands of swimming and diving instructors, teachers, and coaches to place greater emphasis on safety in their instructional programs. Everyone associated with aquatics, including owners of home pools, needs to reflect on the data contained in this book and the recommendations set forth by the authors.

Readers must not interpret the conclusions and recommendations in any way as an indictment of diving or swimming pools. Competitive divers sustain very few injuries. To date, there is no record of any competitive diver receiving a neck fracture by striking the bottom of a pool that met the specifications promulgated by the various ruling bodies governing competitive diving. As the data in this book reveal, the recreational diver is at greatest risk.

Swimming pools represent one of the greatest boons to family living and recreation. They are the safest place to swim but, in the opinion of the authors, they can be made safer and can be operated in a manner that would significantly reduce the number of diving injuries and drownings that occur each year in pools. Chapter 9 addresses injuries that occurred in bodies of water found in the natural environment, such as lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, quarries, and oceans.

The data presented are undeniable. On the other hand, the conclusions and recommendations are the opinions of the authors based on the data recorded in this book, their many years of teaching swimming and diving, and the years of research that they have conducted relative to diving injuries. There will be some who may disagree with our recommendations, particularly our decision not to entirely exclude diving into the shallow portion of pools as outlined in Chapter 15, "The Dilemma".

We sense very keenly the need to continue research in the area. Many critical questions remain unanswered-questions that have direct consequences for a theoretical system that permits scientifically accurate comparison of prediction with experience. Today, enough is now known; and the place, person, and injury frequency are so predictable that action toward accident prevention must begin at once.