Most people think of drowning when they consider swimming pool injuries – indeed, this is a common way these injuries occur. However, many other types of injuries are possible as well. For example, diving in shallow water can cause severe trauma to the head, neck, or back. A fall from a diving board or slide can cause fractures or head injuries. Let’s look at each of these injuries and their outcomes more closely.
Diving accidents frequently cause severe head and neck trauma when the person jumps head-first into the pool and hits the bottom. These injuries can be fatal or leave the victim with lifelong, debilitating injuries. Some require round-the-clock nursing care or support.
A broken neck can immediately damage or sever the spinal cord, making it impossible for the person to move their limbs or even breathe independently. This is an emergency situation that requires training to stabilize the neck and restore the person’s airway. A broken neck could quickly become a fatal injury without a lifeguard or first responder on the scene. Many who survive eventually breathe on their own and may learn to operate their own wheelchair.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) from hitting the head on the bottom or side of the pool are also common. These injuries can vary widely in severity, from a concussion to a catastrophic injury that leaves the victim requiring help with basic, everyday tasks.
Other injuries can also occur at a private pool, shared swimming area, or resort pool. Falls, electrocution, and horseplay are all causes of swimming pool injuries. The type of injury and outcome depends on the circumstances. Fractures, burns, contusions, lacerations, and many other injuries are possible. Many of these injuries occur because alcohol use is common poolside, as are reckless antics – especially among teens and young men.