Everyone who’s heard the airline safety speech knows this important rule: you must place the oxygen mask over yourself before helping others. We learn that this logic comes from the idea that if you are unable to breathe, you will not be able to help others breathe. We think that it’s important for our Lifeguards to remember this too — you must take care of yourself in order to take care of your guests! We’ve put together a list of tips on how to be the best Lifeguard you can be by staying safe on the lifeguard stand.
Heard this one before? That’s because it is SUPER important! Humans are made up of 70% water, which needs to be replenished consistently throughout the day. Keep a bottle with you on post and make sure to fill it up as needed. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, confusion, muscle cramps, and in serious cases, unconsciousness. Stay hydrated to keep you at your best!
Scientists at the National Sleep Foundation put together a sleep chart for people to figure out how much sleep they should get. Currently they recommend that teenagers between 12-17 should get 8-10 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period. Check and see how many hours you should be getting. No one wants to be caught yawning on their post!
Getting stuck on the Lifeguard stand with a sour stomach from last night’s fast food is no way to start your shift. When you need to be on high alert and ready for work, make sure you eat healthy and nutritious foods before you head in. Foods high in protein will keep you energized throughout the day. Grab a handful of almonds and some veggies to keep you full, and don’t be afraid to bring more than you think you’ll need. Don’t let yourself go hungry!
Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health state that adults need 2 to 2 ½ hours worth of exercise per week to stay healthy. Research shows that even a brisk 15-20 minute walk a day is enough to lower your chances of cardiovascular illnesses. By staying active you will be able to react quickly to any emergency situation on the job. It is important to take exercise seriously as a Lifeguard, and know that staying focused on health will help keep you on top of your game.
The 5 Minute Scanning Strategy
Based on years worth of scientific studies and research, Tom Griffin developed a scanning strategy that allows Lifeguards to stay focused and capable of doing their best monitoring. He has learned that by changing your posture, visual scanning pattern, and counting patrons every five minutes, you are allowing your brain to reset in a sense and avoid fatigue. We recommend learning this strategy fully and applying it on the job.
Your skin will thank you! No one wants the pain of sunburn, especially when you probably have to get back on your Lifeguard post the next day! The Skin Cancer Foundation learned that 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime. Consistent use of sunscreen can greatly decrease your risk. We also recommend wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect the top of your head and your eyes. Looking in the direction of the sun for long periods of time can lead to blurred vision and/or yellow spots in the eyes. You don’t want anything impeding your field of sight!
Keep Rule Enforcing Consistent:
As the facility’s Lifeguard, it is your duty to enforce all the rules pertaining to the pool area so that everyone knows what your expectations are. It is crucial that you consistently and firmly enforce the rules, knowing that any deviation can cause confusion among patrons. Do not let friends or family “break” any rules as other patrons may see them and feel they are able to break the rules as well. By consistently enforcing the rules you can help prevent any emergencies from happening. Taking care of your patrons and keeping them safe will always be a Lifeguards highest priority.
We know that using these tips out on your post will keep you safe, your patrons safe, and make for an awesome summer. If you haven’t signed up to Lifeguard with us yet, head on over to our Contact Us page to find an office near you. We’re hiring for summer 2017, come join our team!