Many parents express concerns about the safety of diving. However, for an athlete who is properly trained by a safety certified coach, diving is an extremely safe sport. Dr. Jamie Kissick, Chairman of Sport Safety for the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, suggests that it is important to differentiate organized sport from recreation activities when reviewing injury statistics.
“Diving Safety, A Position Paper” published by United States Diving reports on a study conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (2002) which found that there were fewer accidents related to diving and diving boards than to golf, or bowling. A second study conducted by the National Spinal Cord Injury Data Research Center (2001) found that half of all diving injuries occurred in rivers, lakes and oceans and that most diving injuries “result from horseplay and injudicious behavior.”
Scott Stevenson, Executive Director of the Canadian Amateur Diving Association (CADA), suggests “the best place for a person to learn to dive safely is in a nationally sanctioned program, working with professional coaches in appropriate diving facilities. Jumping into unknown waters, in unsupervised environments is not ‘the sport of diving,’ and related spinal cord injury research should clearly make this distinction.” Bottom line? Take quality diving instruction.