“Swim Near a Lifeguard”: Why You Always Should
It’s plastered on the pool rules and on every warning sign at the beach: Swim Near a Lifeguard. It’s clearly important, but few people understand exactly why it is. Whether it comes to dangers at the swimming pool or perilous marine life at the beach, lifeguards are the guardians of the beach. They are there to protect beach goers, swimmers, and surfers from anything that may pose a danger. Knowing that, it feels silly not to swim near a lifeguard!
A Lifeguard for a Reason
As said by a veteran lifeguard who was interviewed by The Huffington Post, “Lifeguards are not there to be babysitters. Our job is to help in an emergency, but we are watching lots of kids at one time, not just one.”
You can go to a lifeguard with any questions or concerns you have about water safety. You can count on a lifeguard to jump into action if someone is struggling in the water. You can trust your lifeguard to perform CPR or call the paramedics if needed.
Out of Sight
According to Reader’s Digest, the chance of drowning at the beach under the watch of a USLA affiliated lifeguard is 1 in 18 million. That’s when a lifeguard is in sight.
If you’re not in a lifeguard’s visionary parameters, you may not be as lucky. Waves are crashing loudly, kids are screaming, and it’s difficult for vigilante beach goers to hear a cry for help or spot waving arms. The chances are lower at the pool, as the population is more concentrated around the pool, and it is easier for peers or adults to spot a need for help. With that said, it’s always ideal to be under a lifeguard’s watch in any case where you and/or your children are in a body of water.
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