We fall asleep
It’s rare, but it does happen. Staring at the water in the bright sun can be mind-numbing. In my seven years of lifeguarding, I’ve had to discipline two lifeguards who fell asleep on the stand—but to be honest, they weren’t fired. Here are some factors that can make a simple dip in the pool turn dangerous.
Parents, you need to pay attention too
“The phone is the biggest distraction we see,” says Pete DeQuincy, aquatics manager at East Bay Regional Park District in California. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that injuries involving swimming pools climbed 36 percent in children under 5 years old between 2007 and 2010, a time period in which adult smartphone use also skyrocketed. Though the association does not prove that phones were solely responsible, keep the phone down and stay alert to help keep your child safe. The signs of drowning might surprise you: Drowning is a lot more silent than it can look in the movies. About a third of drowning deaths in the United States occur at lifeguarded pools, according to one report. Sitting nearby, looking at your phone, isn’t good enough. A child can drown in the time it takes you to text someone back. These are the things all parents need for a perfect beach day with the kids.
Please, stop talking
We’re supposed to listen politely, but your chitchat is distracting. When I’m on the stand, I’m scanning the area and taking head counts.