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Distracted Lifeguards: Reducing Distractions to Improve Lifeguard Readiness

Distracted Lifeguards: Reducing Distractions to Improve Lifeguard Readiness
Friday, October 18, 2019
11:00 am–11:50 am
Increasing Fun and Reducing Risk Track

Adults and children drown each year while visiting lifeguard supervised swimming pools and beaches. In many cases, lifeguards are not positioned or trained properly to recognize and respond to individuals in distress. Typically, the lifeguards are not held to their original training standards and most often the lifeguards on duty are distracted. Lifeguards may be distracted by secondary duties, facility patrons, other staff, external environmental factors and/or internal factors.

In this presentation, we will identify and discuss the different types of distractions lifeguards must overcome in the workplace, review and break down actual drowning cases and discuss the RID Factor involving the audience from beginning to end, including some role-playing exercises. By reviewing and discussing past incident scenarios, session attendees will understand the consequences of distracted lifeguards on duty. We will share and learn commonsense practices to reduce and eliminate distractions for lifeguards and improve patron safety.

All staff should play a role in reducing lifeguard distractions, whether it be swimming pool managers, swim coaches, recreation managers, lead lifeguards, beach lifeguard officers and the front-line staff such as lifeguards, instructors and gate keepers. We hope everyone who attends this session walks out with the tools to train and manage staff better to avoid distractions, decrease liability and more effectively protect swimmers.