Diving in residential pools is not a smart idea, and many areas have banned the use or sale of diving boards for private pools. The reasons: backyard pools are smaller and not as deep, so they don't give the diver enough room in front and on the sides to land safely in the water without hitting the board, pool edge or bottom. Diving injuries can result in quadriplegia, paralysis below the neck, to divers who hit the bottom or side of a swimming pool, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Divers should observe the following precautions:
Never Dive Into Above-Ground PoolsAbove-ground swimming pools are too shallow for safe diving, regardless of how experienced the diver might be.
Don't Dive From the Side of an Inground Swimming PoolEnter the water feet first, which would be jumping, not diving.
Dive Only From the End of the Diving BoardDon't dive from the sides.
Dive With Your Hands in Front of YouAlways steer up immediately upon entering the water to avoid hitting the bottom or sides of the swimming pool.
Don't Dive if You Have Been Using Drugs or AlcoholYes, that says dive, not drive -- although you shouldn't do either. Drinking alcohol or using drugs prior to or while diving could impair your reaction time, which may be too slow.
Never Dive Head-First Down a SlideImproper use of swimming pool slides can present the same danger as improper diving techniques. Never slide down head-first -- go down feet-first only.
Don't Dive or Jump Off a Roof or BuildingWe've all seen it done in movies or maybe even at parties -- a drunk frat boy or two decides to entertain everyone by jumping off the roof or balcony into the pool. Don't even think about it.
Avoid the Shallow End
Never dive into the shallow end of the pool. If you are unsure, find out from the homeowner or lifeguard on duty which end is the shallow, and ask about the depth.
Don't Dive Through Toys
It may look fun, but diving through inflatable toys or inner tubes can be an invitation for disaster. You can misjudge your aim, and collide into the side of the pool, among other mishaps.
Diving is a graceful and precise skill and sport. If you are interested, take classes through a reputable swimming organization.