MASON CITY, IA – Have you ever geared up for a dive only to have it result in a painful belly flop? Well as it turns out that this painful splash can be harmful to more than just your ego.
According to recent studies out of Cedar Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, belly flops can cause abdominal injuries and can affect organs such as the liver, kidney, pancreas and bowels.
Crystal Florman, Lifeguard at the Mason City Aquatic Center, is always on watch for those kids who are jumping in tummy first on purpose.
“We remind them right away,” Florman said, “and if they continue to break the rules then we sit them out and make sure they completely understand the rule and go from there if it gets worse.”
According to the research, belly flops can be the most harmful for kids because they have less abdominal fat to protect their inner organs from the splash.
“The high dive is such a long way and the force of the water on your stomach can cause a lot of pain,” Florman said.
Because of their size, children have a larger abdominal cavity and because they lack abdominal fat, their organs are more vulnerable to be injured in a dive gone wrong.
Teaching your kids, or having a lifeguard teach your kids, the proper way to dive into the water is a good way of preventing injuries.