Why Not to Rely Too Heavily on Lifeguards: What Can You Do to Be Prepared?

In the peak summer season, time spent at the pool, ocean and lake is increased drastically. This means an awesome time spent keeping cool with your family and friends, but it can also mean huge crowds in the water. With so much going on in the water and so many people around, swimming in oceans, lakes or pools can be dangerous. Luckily, there are lifeguards set in place in many areas to oversee everything that is going on. However, it’s important not to rely 100% on lifeguards, especially during peak busy season. So why shouldn’t you rely too heavy on lifeguards? What can you do to create a sturdy foundation for yourself and your family?

Lifeguards Can’t Physically Watch Everyone

Lifeguards are taught to scan areas, using a slight arch in their scan from one side to the other and then dipping the gaze down to bring their scan back in the opposite direction. Aside from the many different techniques in scanning that can be used, lifeguards are humans just like you and I. There is imperfection in humankind, and it’s important to rely entirely on one person who could make a mistake at any time.

Of course it’s crucial that lifeguards do their job to the best of their ability, but when there are hundreds of people swimming, it’s physically impossible to look at each individual person at all times. If you notice a lifeguard who’s head isn’t moving as they scan, or they are talking with someone and not looking at the water in front of the, let someone in authority know.

Lifeguards Want You to Watch Your Kids

Do you have children? It’s necessary to watch them at all times in the water, especially if your kids are younger. It might be easy to get caught up in chatting to a neighbor or friend while you’re at the pool, but it really only takes a split second for something to happen. It makes it much easier for lifeguards to do their job in ensuring no one is drowning when you’re keeping your toddlers from falling into the deep end.

It Can Be Incredibly Difficult to See

Think about when you’re at the lake or the ocean – the water is often a deep, dark color with debris floating throughout. Additionally, if you’re at a pool with that’s packed with swimmers, it can be difficult to assess what is happening at all times. Lifeguards must quickly evaluate what’s going on in front of them to know the difference between playing, roughhousing and drowning.

According to Mani Ellis & Layne, injury attorneys in Charleston, many types of injuries can result from reckless or dangerous behavior of others. If you see people getting rough in the water, it’s important to let a lifeguard know so they can put an end to it immediately.

What Can You Do?

One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you and your family knows how to swim as well as how to perform CPR.

Never swim alone! Grab a friend or family member before you run into the ocean. Have a buddy with you at all times so that if anything happens to either of you, someone else knows exactly where you are and can potentially help.

If you have kids, watch them! This comes with the responsibility of being in charge of another human life. Don’t leave it up to the lifeguard who could have hundreds of other kids to watch.

Be careful of rip currents. If you get stuck in a rip current, swim parallel to the shore until you make it out. Otherwise you could get too tired and lose enough power and energy to make it to safety.

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