Labor Day swimmers: Remember to jump in feet first

September 4, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Updates & Resources,

More than a million Michiganders will head out to a pool or Great Lake this long Labor Day weekend, soaking up the 80-degree temperatures for perhaps the last time before the pool toys get packed away in favor of packing up the backpacks.

Whether it’s a body of water your family swims in every summer, or you’re trying out a new Mitten State destination, it’s important to keep your safety vigilance in and around the water.

Dr. Shawn Hervey-Jumper, a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan Health System, focuses on just two words to convey the most important water safety tip: feet first. It’s not worth the risk to dive in if you have any doubts.

“Every year, we’ll get a few patients who come in who have thought they were in deeper water than they were, and hit the bottom,” Hervey-Jumper said.

Bones can be fixed, but a damaged spinal cord from a shallow dive is a permanent injury.

According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are about 12,500 new cases of spinal cord injuries each year.

“Michigan is particularly prone to these sorts of issues because we have so many wonderful lakes for recreation,” Hervey-Jumper said.

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