Doing flips, handstands, and backward dives are particularly risky, report the researchers, who included Carol Day of the University of Ohio College of Medicine.
Day's team analyzed data on kids and teens up to age 19 who were treated at any of 100 U.S. hospital emergency rooms from 1990 to 2006 for injuries sustained while diving into a pool or other body of water.
Based on the 2,927 children treated at those hospitals for diving-related injuries, Day and colleagues estimate that 111,341 children and teens nationwide were treated in emergency rooms for diving-related injuries from 1990 to 2006. Some of those children may have been treated for more than one diving injury.
Kids aged 10-14 accounted for most cases. Most injuries affected the head and neck.
Prevention tips mentioned in the study include teaching proper diving technique, stretching and strengthening for competitive divers, and teaching your kids not to jump from the side of a pool into shallow or turbid water.