A Lesson about Lifeguarding | Health Eagle

A Lesson about Lifeguarding

by Kendall Ryan July 5th, 2010 | Children's Health, First Aid, Health News
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In today’s economy, it is becoming increasingly difficult for teenagers and college graduates alike to find jobs. However, every summer there seems to be one stable job: lifeguarding.

Lifeguarding is an investment because you have to pay a couple hundred dollars to get certified, but in my experience, many employers offer to reimburse you. A lifeguard certification (life saving and first aid) is good for three years. However, you have to get recertified for CPR every year.

Some great places to work as a lifeguard would be the following:

  • YMCA
  • NYSC
  • Your local swim club
  • Your local swim school
  • Your local gym
  • Your College/University
  • Your local Day Camp

One of  the most important benefits of being a lifeguard is the acceptance of the responsibility. For teens/young adults, lifeguarding is a great way to teach them how their attentiveness and actions greatly affect others. For example, this experience will likely encourage teens to think twice about driving and texting or drinking and driving. In some facilities, one lifeguard may be responsible for an entire pool. In other facilities like a day camp, a lifeguard may be one of twenty lifeguards responsible for one pool. It all depends on the facility but one thing remains: lifeguards are trained and responsible for safety first.

Another benefit of lifeguarding is the ability to teach people, young or old, how to swim. At the YMCA or day camp, lifeguards may be responsible to teach children as young as two how to swim or at least introduce them to the water.

Some strategies to being the best swim instructor are as follows:

  • Know the names of your kids within two days—they generally respond better with individual attention
  • Make the kids comfortable with you right away. Know their fears and favorite things; if you are aware of a fear up front, you can begin concurring it sooner. If they like to jump into deep water, make sure you allow them to participate in that favorite activity often.
  • Form relationships with your kids. On Monday ask them how their weekend was and what they did. Play games like Goofy and learn what their favorite color and favorite activity at camp are.  Try to put everything in terms they will understand. For example, for young boys relate things to cartoons or super heroes.
  • Make your kids want to come to swim lessons! They have to enjoy what they are learning!

Finally, the financial benefits of being a lifeguard. With a lot of responsibility comes a lot of compensation.

  • If you are teaching swim lessons for a group and a parent thinks their kids requires extra time and attention and you agree encourage private swim lessons. In my experience, I found that children respond better and learn more quickly with individual lessons. Also, as a certified lifeguard you can charge anywhere from $20-$30/30 minutes depending on your experience.
  • If you are not interested in teaching private swim lessons, people are always looking for lifeguards for private parties. The going rates for these range from approximately $25-$35/hour. Keep in mind, parties are usually a few hours like 3PM-8PM where you could make a well-earned $125 for the day.

Overall, lifeguarding is a great skill and certification to have. It looks great on a resume and shows extreme dedication and responsibility. If you choose to become a lifeguard…best of luck to you! My last words of advice…wear SPF 30 at all times!

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.