Being a lifeguard is a natural first job for many kids who grew up in the pool. It's a great first summer job to have and teaches teenagers and adults responsibility. Whether you're 16 or 45 and lifeguarding, the skills a lifeguard learns can never be forgotten. However, lifeguarding can be one of the most boring jobs. Staring at a pool all day in the heat isn't what I would call fun. Here are 5 things every lifeguard wishes a patron wouldn't do:
1. Come early
If you come to a pool before the lifeguard does and wait for them, the lifeguard will be in a bad mood. No one likes to show up to work and immediately have to rush to the lifeguard stand. Before the pool can open the lifeguard has responsibilities to fill, a patron watching over their shoulder hoping they can get in the pool soon, won't help the process.
2. Stay late
If the pool closes in 15 minutes and you're still there, maybe look like you are starting to gather your belongings and throw away your trash. The worst thing you can do to a lifeguard is wait until the last minute to get out of the pool and leave a big mess as you leave.
3. Disrespect the rest period
Many community pools have rest periods. If your child is the last one to get out of the pool every single time, the lifeguard will be upset and rightly so. Slowly meandering your way to the stairs or ladder while a lifeguard is trying to get off of the stand will not put you on their good side. That being said, please do NOT ask the lifeguard when rest period ends. Many lifeguards have to test chemicals and do other things during rest period. Telling every kids how long they have until they can get back nto the pool is not their top priority.
4. Not watch your kids
If your child is in floaties or especially young, please do not leave your child alone in the pool. It's unsafe for the child and the lifeguard. The lifeguard will be forced to pay attention to your child more, leaving the rest of the pool with less attention. If your child has trouble listening to directions or following directions, don't make your child the lifeguard's problem.
5. Treat the lifeguard as your babysitter
Lifeguards are NOT baby sitters. The lifeguard's priority is to protect the safety of all patrons at the pool, not to break up sibling fights or yell at your child for you. Unless your child is doing something unsafe, it is not the lifeguard's job to discipline or baby sit your child. The lifeguard's job is safety, let them focus on that.