The weather is warming up, and for many of us, that means taking a trip to the beach, lake or pool to cool off in the water. While taking a swim can be relaxing and fun for the whole family, it can also lead to neck or back injuries if proper safety precautions are not followed. Injuries to the spine can have lifelong consequences such as paralysis. Here are some safety tips from the physicians at Resurgens Spine Center to help you and your family have a safe summer while enjoying your water activities.
Lifeguards are required to be certified and trained to deal with common emergencies and can help save lives whether you are swimming in a pool or in the ocean. At the beach, lifeguards are stationed in areas designated for swimming. If you don’t see a lifeguard, you may be in dangerous waters. Also, lifeguards know about any hazards in the water, so check with them before going in and heed any posted “No Swimming” signs.
Know the Water Conditions
You should get to know the water before going in, especially when swimming at a lake or in the ocean. There can be submerged hazards like rocks or coral reefs that can seriously injure you. Windy conditions can make going for a swim more dangerous as well. Make sure you know what’s under the water before taking a swim, especially if you plan to dive.
Use Caution When Diving
Diving is an extremely dangerous activity. The Foundation for Aquatic Injury Prevention estimates that over 1,000 people sustain severe spinal injuries each year by diving into water that’s too shallow. Always check the depth of the water before diving in. Diving headfirst into unknown water can be very dangerous. Diving off obstacles and cliffs can also lead to injury. Even diving under waves can cause serious injuries if the water’s too shallow.
Swimming should be a fun, relaxing activity. Diving can also be fun when done with caution. We hope these safety tips help you and your family enjoy a safe summer whether you are hitting the pool, lake or ocean.