Don't Dive in Shallow!
"No diving in the shallow end!", "No running!" These rules you have probably heard multiple times while hanging out at a pool with a lifeguard for hire on duty, but you probably don't know the reasoning behing this over enforced rule. It is overenforced because of spinals; head, neck, or back injuries.
Pools are one of the slipperiest surfaces out there. And actually the most common pool related injury is slips and falls. So why do you so often see parents not enforcing this rule to children? No one thinks their child will slip. And if they do, they are young, they will catch themselves. Adults run, even when a lifeguard is telling them not to politely. They think, "Why should I listen to this kid. I've been running my whole life and nothing has happened to me." But the problem is when the child or adult does not catch themselves. And because adults are a lot heavier, they will fall harder, too.
Also, people that dive in the shallow end, or towards the corners of the pool are in great danger of getting a spinal. This is because a lot of times it is hard to decipher where the ground is in a pool. Since the water is clear (or even worse when its not) it is so hard to really know where exactly it is. When you dive into a pool, if you just dive a few inches too deep you will hit your head on the bottom of the pool. Or if you do not dive straight out you are facing the risk of hitting your head on the side.
If a person does not catch themselves, or they hit their head instead of their butt, they are in danger of getting a head, neck, or back injury. If a person hits any side of the pool with their head, they are in danger of the same. Best case scenario, you have a bump on your head and probably a concussion. Worst case scenario leads to fatality. If you do get a spinal, but it is not fatal, you can end up with back problems, headaches, and physical therapy, even lifetime paralysis.
If you did not see the event that caused this person's neck, head, or back pain, or if someone is unconscious in a situation where they could have hit their head, you always expect a spinal injury. This is because you can never be too careul when you are treating a person. You want to make sure that their head and body is stabalized and that they are not moving at all. Call 911 right away. Make sure you are talking to the person, making sure they stay calm and conscious. Talk to them even when unconscious, because you never know if they are listening.
You always want to be careful around a pool. You always want to enforce these rules, and listen when your lifeguard for hire enforces them, because they were trained to keep you safe. Lifeguards know the reasons for all rules, so if you are unsure why one is enforced, ask them to clarify. A good lifeguard for hire should be happy to give you the information to keep you safe.