With summer underway comes the increased frequency of a popular summertime activity: swimming. As swimming becomes more prevalent in these warmer months, so do spinal cord injuries caused by recreational activities in the swimming pool. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10% of all spinal cord injuries are caused by sporting and recreational activities. A large proportion of these recreation injuries come from routine swimming activities such as diving in shallow water or slipping and falling outside of the pool.
A person can sustain a spinal cord injury in a swimming pool by diving in shallow water. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, diving accidents are the fifth leading cause of spinal cord injuries in both men and women in the United States. Once a person dives into shallow water in a swimming pool, that person risks hitting their head on the bottom or side of the pool. Hitting your head on the bottom or side of a pool can cause trauma to the head or neck, which can in turn damage spinal cord nerves that carry messages between the brain and the rest of the body. Following a spinal cord injury while diving, quadriplegia, or the loss of sensation and movement in all four limbs, usually results.
Another common cause of spinal cord injuries is slipping and falling outside of a swimming pool. The area around a swimming pool may be wet, increasing a person’s chances of slipping and falling. Slipping and falling on your tailbone can result in a spinal cord injury causing damage to the lower spinal cord nerves, which can lead to paraplegia or the loss of sensation and movement in the legs. Slipping and falling on your back or head can result in damage to the upper spinal cord nerves resulting in quadriplegia. Whether you are exiting the pool or walking on a wet surface surrounding the pool, care must be taken to help prevent injuries such as a spinal cord injury.
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports that nearly 25% of all recreation-related spinal cord injuries, including injuries in swimming pools, affect children 15 years of age and younger. In these summer months, please be aware of children and loved ones under the age of 16 around the swimming pool. Preventative measures that can reduce the chances of anyone sustaining a spinal cord injury due to a swimming pool accident are as follows:
Swimming in a pool can be a fun summer activity for families and friends. This summer, remember to take caution while in and around the swimming pool because one accident can change your or a loved one’s life forever.
If you or a loved one has sustained a spinal cord injury due to a diving or pool-related accident, call The Spinal Cord Injury Law Firm at 1-877-SCI- FIRM for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.