This study sought to establish home swimming pool design guidelines to minimize risk of diving injury. Using a qualitative design, interviews with representatives of home pool companies were analyzed and common themes were determined. Pool company display centers and advertising materials were also examined. The typical in-ground fiberglass home pool was described by manufacturers as 8 m in length, with a constant gradient of 0.9 m to 1.8-2.0 m deep. Comparisons between this profile and the underwater pathways of young adults in previous studies by the authors showed that if the dives had been performed in this typical pool, impact would have occurred for some dives. Safety features such as depth markings and signage were absent from all pools. We concluded that recreational swimmers with limited diving skills are at risk of diving injury in the typical home swimming pool. Recommendations are provided of strategies that can be implemented by home pool owners to improve pool safety. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR
This short report describes a 20-month follow-up of safe diving skills, extending the 8-month retention period previously published in this journal. Thirty-four recreational swimmers with poor diving skills were evaluated before and immediately after a diving skills intervention program. Twenty-two returned for the eight-month follow-up evaluation and 16 returned 20 months post. As with the earlier study, Treadwater, Deck, Block and Running dives were video-recorded, and maximum depth, distance, velocity, entry angle and flight distance were compared. Underwater hand and arm positions were examined. Pre-intervention, a breaststroke arm action before maximum depth occurred in 18% of all dives and 38% of Treadwater dives. This was eliminated post-intervention, improving head protection. The Treadwater dive elicited the greatest mean maximum depth, and ANOVA showed depth for this entry decreased (improved) following intervention and remained shallower at the eight-month and 20-month post follow-ups. The Block dive also became shallower following intervention while the Deck dive remained unchanged. As seven 10-minute skills sessions resulted in shallower dives with safer hand and arm positions, and these skills were retained over a 600 day non-practice period, it is reliable to consider that the inclusion of safe diving skills in learn-to-swim programs can provide a diving spinal cord injury prevention strategy.