June 24, 1999


Release # 99-127

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and 15 firms are announcing the recall of more than 19 million dive sticks used in swimming pools. In shallow water, children can fall or land on a dive stick and suffer rectal or vaginal impalement. Facial and eye injuries also are possible when children attempt to retrieve the sticks under water. According to CPSC Chairman Ann Brown, these dives sticks are dangerous and should not be used.

CPSC knows of six impalement injuries and one facial injury to children 6 to 9 years old. Although the number of reported incidents is relatively low, the severity of the injuries that have occurred is very significant. Three of the children suffered rectal and three suffered vaginal impalements from dive sticks placed in backyard pools or, in one case, a hot tub. In four of the six incidents, the injuries that occurred required surgery and hospitalization. The facial injury occurred when a child bobbed down to retrieve a dive stick and lacerated her face just below her eye, requiring stitches.

The dive sticks being recalled are hard plastic and are either cylinder-shaped or shark-shaped. When dropped into water, the dive sticks sink to the bottom of a pool and stand upright so that children can swim or dive down and retrieve them. The cylinder-shaped plastic sticks measure about 4 to 8 inches long and about 1 inch or less in diameter. The shark-shaped plastic sticks measure about 7 inches long and have an egg-shaped bottom. The sticks come in a variety of colors. Most are packaged in kits of three to six sticks, and some are packaged with other pool diving games.

These dive sticks have been sold at grocery, drug, pool and discount department stores nationwide for about $4 to $7 per set under numerous brand names, most of which do not appear on the dive stick itself. Consumers should stop using dive sticks immediately and throw them out.

Depending on the sticks owned, consumers can receive a refund, replacement or repair.

CompanyQuantity RecalledHow to IDThrow out or...
Florida Pool 9 million Sold primarily at Wal-Mart Get repair kit at Wal-Mart.
Poolmaster 2 million "Poolmaster" imprinted on stick Call (800) 854-1492 for a replacement.
J&M Industries 897,000 "Made in USA" imprinted on stick Get a replacement stick at the store where purchased.
All others N/A All others Return to store where purchased for a refund or repair.

CPSC urges anyone who is aware of injuries with dive sticks or who has questions about the recall to call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772.

The CPSC staff is recommending to the Commission that it ban the future production and importation of these products.

CPSC, Firms Announce Swimming Pool Dive Stick Recall Because of Impalement Risk to Children