Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spreading the word

In terms of back-to-school, summer is pretty much over across the country. But us southerners still have hot weather, and we will continue to have have many kids in pools for the next few weekends.

I'm deviating from my usual blog content because I feel like I have to spread the word. For those of you who don't know, my sister-in-law suffered a terrible fall on July 8th and is learning to live life paralyzed from the chest down. We have spent countless hours at the rehab hospital with her. 100+ people are at this facility on any given day. And in the summer months, many of the injured patients, paraplegics and quadriplegics, sustained their injuries from diving accidents. Diving into pools that are not sufficient depth for diving. Diving into the ocean, not realizing a sandbar was underneath. Diving off a pier into seemingly deep waters.

I see kids flopping themselves into our neighborhood pool quite often. I see teenagers lunging into the ocean when we're on a beach vacation. And for the rest of my life, I'll probably cringe when I see those things. My daughter will not do those things when I'm around.

More than 850 spinal cord injuries occur from diving-related injuries each year. The majority of these result in quadriplegia - paralysis of all limbs.

Is this on your pool?

I don't want to cause fear or seem overzealous here... but I couldn't let it slide. As our summer heat winds down, just think an extra second before you let your child dive. Or throw them haphazardly into the water. And remember it next year. And the next. And the next. And for years beyond that. Most diving-related spinal cord injuries occur between the ages of 15 and 25. But they can happen at all ages.

Thanks for letting me be a little heavy tonight. I couldn't ignore it any longer.

We all love our kids! Even the teenagers.
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