What are the Different Types of Lifeguard Accessories?

D. Jeffress

Lifeguards patrol pools, ocean beaches, water parks, and recreational swimming areas to keep swimmers safe and provide emergency medical services when necessary. Professionals rely on a number of different lifeguard accessories to perform their jobs successfully, including first aid kits and various types of rescue equipment. Most lifeguards carry cell phones or radios to call for help, as well as whistles and binoculars to keep an eye out for struggling swimmers and alert people of danger. Other lifeguard accessories, such as breathable clothing, hats, and sunglasses help to keep professionals from becoming overheated and make them easily recognizable by people in need.

Lifeguards often wear sunglasses.
Lifeguards often wear sunglasses.

Many lifeguard accessories are invaluable in rescue efforts. When a lifeguard notices someone struggling to breathe or make it out of the water, he or she throws the person a small flotation device affixed to a rope. The individual can hold on to the device and be pulled to safety. When a swimmer is submerged in water and beginning to drown, a lifeguard will often jump into the water with a large buoy that can keep the victim afloat until they make it back to land.

A tube of antibiotic ointment is an important lifeguard accessory.
A tube of antibiotic ointment is an important lifeguard accessory.

First aid kits and equipment are essential to resuscitate swimmers and treat various ailments. Lifeguards usually keep bandages, wraps, antibiotic ointments, and splints on hand to treat minor cuts and other injuries that may occur at a pool or beach. More sophisticated equipment, such as defibrillators and oxygen machines, are often available to aid in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and maintaining consciousness until ambulances arrive.

Other important lifeguard accessories include radios, cell phones, whistles, and binoculars. Radios and cell phones are indispensable pieces of equipment, utilized by professionals to call for help from other lifeguards and contact emergency responders. Lifeguards who patrol a large area, such as an ocean beach, often use binoculars to scan waters for struggling swimmers and dangers like impending storms or sharks. Whistles are used to warn people of dangerous situations and get the attention of individuals who are engaging in unsafe activity.

Some lifeguard accessories that seem nonessential, such as chairs, hats, sunglasses, and t-shirts, are actually quite functional. Most lifeguard chairs are elevated a few meters above a pool or beach to improve visibility. Sunglasses, hats, and light clothing help to keep lifeguards cool, make it easier to see what is going on, and move swiftly should trouble arise. Standard uniforms and accessories also allow swimmers and beach enthusiasts to identify lifeguards among a large crowd of people.

Lifeguards who patrol a large area of water often need binoculars.
Lifeguards who patrol a large area of water often need binoculars.

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Discussion Comments


Another important accessories that a lot of new life guard forget about is sunscreen. If you are going to spend all day all summer out in the sun you need to protect your skin. I don't care who you are or how much you like being tanned, your skin will get damaged after all that time in the sun.

I worked as a lifeguard for a number of years and at the beginning of every summer I would go out and buy the biggest container of the strongest sunscreen I could find. By the end of the summer it was usually gone. Use it often and liberally. Your 50 year old self will thank you for it.

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