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Div­ing boards can be a fun and excit­ing addi­tion to your swim­ming pool, whether you’re an aspir­ing Greg Louga­n­is or just want to add ver­sa­til­i­ty to your pool.  How­ev­er, you def­i­nite­ly want to do your home­work in order to deter­mine whether or not it is the right choice for your fam­i­ly. Div­ing board safe­ty aware­ness needs to a num­ber-one pri­or­i­ty.

It is a myth that most pool acci­dents occur on a div­ing board.  In fact, accord­ing to the Spinal Cord Injury Infor­ma­tion Net­work and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alaba­ma at Birm­ing­ham, less than 10 per­cent of all swim­ming pool div­ing injuries involve the div­ing board. Clear­ly, when sound, rea­son­able div­ing board safe­ty pre­cau­tions are kept in mind, div­ing can be a safe, enjoy­able pas­time.

  1. Nev­er dive into above-ground pools.  They are not meant for div­ing and do not have suf­fi­cient depth for it.
  2. Don’t run off a div­ing board.  When run­ning it is dif­fi­cult to adjust for mis­takes or keep your foot­ing on a wet board.  Walk up to the edge of the board before div­ing in.
  3. Don’t move a div­ing board from one pool to anoth­er with­out a pro. Div­ing boards are not inter­change­able on all pools.  Have your div­ing board installed pro­fes­sion­al­ly to ensure it is a prop­er fit to your pool’s size and shape.  DO NOT take an old board from a dif­fer­ent pool and install it with­out con­sult­ing a pro­fes­sion­al first.
  4. Don’t believe every­thing you read. Just because a sign says that the water is a cer­tain depth, do not take that for grant­ed.  The very first time you go off of a div­ing board, jump feet first.  If your pre­con­cep­tions were wrong, your feet and legs will feel the impact instead of your head and neck.
  5. Keep your dives sim­ple. Trick dives are haz­ardous and should not be attempt­ed in a res­i­den­tial pool.  Accord­ing to the Amer­i­can Insti­tutes for Research, 16 per­cent of all div­ing acci­dents occurred from attempt­ing an unusu­al dive. Some­one attempt­ing a trick dive might not clear the div­ing board or they may not be able to steer them­selves up prop­er­ly from that dive. Keep your dives straight­for­ward and sim­ple to be safe.

For an even more com­pre­hen­sive list of div­ing board safe­ty tips go to: http://www.divingboardsafety.net/MythBusters.pdf

And, as always, give us a call if you’d like to talk through this deci­sion.

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