Swimming Safety: Tips for the Pool
Swimming and diving into a pool may seem like harmless activities, but every year many people injure themselves because they do not pay attention to proper safety tips.

More than 1,700 spinal cord injuries result from diving accidents every year. The majority of pool-related spinal cord injuries result in paralysis of all four limbs.

Tips for Injury Prevention

Here are some tips that can help prevent injuries in a private pool.

  • Educate guests about the pool, such as depth markings, lighting, diving board location, surface, and time for use.
  • Set enforceable hours for pool use and secure it with fencing to keep people out during inappropriate hours.
  • Do not allow guests to swim alone or to consume alcohol or drugs while swimming.
  • When the pool is in use, always have someone present who is trained in water safety and life-saving techniques.
Checklist for Pool Safety

Many spinal cord injuries that occur can be prevented! Use this checklist to make sure your pool is safe.

  • Are there depth indicators clearly visible around the pool?
  • Is the pool and surrounding area well-lighted during its use?
  • Do you serve or allow alcohol to be consumed by guests?
  • Do you enforce set hours for pool use?
  • Is your pool secured with fencing to keep people out during inappropriate hours?
  • Does your pool have a designated diving area?
  • Do you have a lifeguard or someone trained in water safety at your pool?

Source: National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, Birmingham, Alabama, 2010 Annual Report for the Spinal Cord Injury Model Systems

for additional info on Make Your Summer Safe: Tips for the Pool
Last reviewed: June 2011
Copyright 2011 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons