Sun Out, Hats On!
Lifeguard attire is a staple – it’s a steadfast way to tell a lifeguard apart from someone who is just sitting in a tall, white chair. It’s fairly common to see your lifeguard sporting a red swimsuit, but unfortunately, not all lifeguards wear hats. Given the presence of heat and sun exposure, it’s best practice for lifeguards to be in the routine of wearing a hat while on the job. For all of you tanners and surfers – this applies to you, too. Hats offer levels of protection that sunscreen can’t always cover, including in these four categories:
1) Skin Damage
When the UV index is at an all-time high, sunburns are possible even with ample sunscreen reapplications. Unless you’re reapplying SPF 100 sunscreen every 60 minutes, your face is likely still catching some rays. That’s where a hat can help. Lifeguards who wear hats can rest easy knowing that their skin is physically blocked from the sun. This, when used in conjunction with sunscreen, can eliminate a damaging sunburn and its scarring after effects.
2) Improved Vision
Squinting into the distance is one of the last things a lifeguard should do. It’s important to have your vision fully equipped so that any emergency or need is spotted immediately. Although sunglasses (especially polarized) do a great job blocking the sun, it’s helpful to double up with a hat to provide an extra shield for your eyes.
3) Banding the Team Together
Lifeguard uniforms are multi-purposeful, one of these purposes being to enhance the feeling of being part of a team. Just like a group of coworkers in an office or a set of players for a sport, lifeguarding means being on a team. There’s a level of pride and loyalty that goes into protecting your beach, so it’s nice to be able to represent your job in style with your teammates. A suit, whistle and rescue tube wouldn’t be quite the same without a complementing lifeguard hat.
4) Avoiding Scalpburn
Getting a sunburn is one thing, but a scalpburn is a whole different story. For one, these nasty burns can lead to peeling and dandruff. Long-term, recurring scalpburns can increase chances of melanoma on the scalp, which is one of the most deadly spots to get it. Big picture? Don’t risk your chances!
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