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article imageNon-profit tells Canadians to 'think before you dive'

By KJ Mullins     May 20, 2010 in Health
Toronto - ThinkFirst Canada is warning Canadians to think first when setting out for water-based sports this summer. A ThinkFirst-Tator study showed that 91 percent of diving injuries occur between May and August.
Diving into water at the local pool or lake can be dangerous. Most of those who are seriously injured in diving accidents are confined to a wheelchair for life. The risk of sudden head impact and broken necks from diving into water represent 10 percent of all spinal cord injuries that are treated at Toronto hospitals, according to ThinkFirst Canada founder Dr. Charles Tator reported in a press release.
"The majority of diving injuries are sustained in private, recreational, and unsupervised settings," Dr Tator stated.
Most diving injuries are sustained by males (89%) with young males from the age of 11-30 (77%) being at the highest risk.
Most diving injuries occur in water 5 feet deep or less where there is no supervision or warning signs. Often the diver has never been to the area before that first risky dive.
Drugs and alcohol are factors in over half of diving injuries and deaths.
The family pool can be a dangerous place without supervision. Forty percent of diving accidents occur in the backyard.
The most important advice when it comes to diving regardless of how familiar you are with the water is to always go in feet first the first time. Never dive into water that isn't clear. Always check for logs, stumps and rocks being aware of changing depths. When diving into water the depth should be twice your height for the whole dive.
More about Diving accidents, Spinal cord injury, Diving
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