Diving-related injuries in children<20 years old treated in emergency departments in the United States: 1990-2006

Coral Day, Uwe Stolz, Tracy J. Mehan, Gary A. Smith, Lara B. McKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this work was to comprehensively examine diving-related injuries in the United States among children and adolescents ≤20 years of age. METHODS. We conducted a retrospective analysis of diving-related injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, including patients aged <20 years old who were seen in an emergency department for a diving-related injury from 1990 through 2006. RESULTS. An estimated 111 341 patients aged <19 years were treated in emergency departments for diving-related injuries over the 17-year period of the study. The average annual injury rate was 8.4 injuries per 100 000 US residents <20 years old. Patients aged 10 to 14 years composed the largest group (36.3%) of injured divers. Injuries to the head and/or neck (38.2%) and face (21.7%) were the most common, with the most frequent diagnoses being lacerations (33.9%) and soft tissue injuries (24.3%). Collision with a diving board and/or platform was the leading cause of injuries (43.9%). Children <10 years old had increased odds of sustaining a laceration, children <5 years old had increased odds of injury to the face, and 10- to 19-year-olds had increased odds of sustaining a fracture or an injury to the extremities. The odds of injury caused by contact with the diving board dramatically increased if the child was performing a flip and/or handstand or a backward dive. CONCLUSIONS. To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine recreational and competitive diving-related injuries among children and adolescents using a nationally representative sample. These results can help inform pediatricians, parents, coaches, and trainers regarding injuries seen during recreational and competitive diving and can help guide future prevention efforts. Pediatrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e388-e394
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2008


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diving
  • Diving-related
  • Emergency department
  • National electronic injury surveillance system
  • Wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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