Also Known As: Long spine board, Longboard, Spinalboard, Spineboard

Also known as a long spine board, longboard, spinalboard or spineboard, a backboard is designed to immobilize an injured person with a possible spinal injury.

These are mandatory safety objects at a swimming pool or spa. In conjunction with a cervical collar, side head supports and straps (also known as head imobilizer) , a backboard can ensure that the spine does not rotate or shift at all when the injured person is being transported to safety or to another site for additional medical treatment.

Backboards are usually made of wood or plastic, with the latter being more popular because of its resistance to water damage, cracks and bacteria. With straps and handles on the sides, the backboard is slightly longer and wider than the average, adult human body. They are light and able to float on water.

Since injuries may occur in or out of the water, lifeguards should be trained in using a backboard in both scenarios. On land, three rescuers are needed, and in the water, two are necessary. Because of size differences, the process for securing a child to a backboard is different than an adult. The backboard should be used whenever there is any risk of spinal cord injury and should be stored within easy access. It should also be inspected and maintained, so that it is in proper working condition at all times.