The month of May, Water Safety Month, is a good time to educate parents, especially when it comes to families attending public pools during the summer months. Parents can become too over reliant on the lifeguards on duty and over-confident with their children in the water. Use your public relations and marketing skills to get parents on your side before the summer begins. Encourage them to get wet and enjoy the water with their children rather than observing from afar, that is the pool deck, or lawn where many visual obstructions and social interference can occur. If the best of your lifeguards follow their textbook training with “constant, continual scanning,” they may see a potential drownee only 10% of their time while on duty providing visual surveillance. Parents need to know this. It takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to reduce drowning deaths. Your parents can be real lifesavers if you make them a part of your safety team. And please remember to identify and float your non-swimmers in Coast Guard approved Life Jackets.

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