Problem Solver - August 2007
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Protecting Lifeguards, Protecting Patrons

We would like to provide the most effective lifeguard stations to protect our patrons as well as our lifeguards.

The perception of lifeguards and their performance has evolved over the years. Extensive research has been performed to determine what tools could improve the lifeguards' ability to do their job better. Most people are aware of the importance of keeping these critical personnel engaged and active at the water's edge. In addition, there is a growing awareness of the harmful effects of UV rays, and the protection of employees, as well as patrons. When developing newer-generation guard stations, safety and accident prevention were the main focus.

Besides encouraging your lifeguards to regularly apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor, you can take things one step further and really protect their skin by providing a sun shade assembly over the lifeguard station. Sun shades can be added seamlessly to your existing guard stations and can be easily removed in case of high winds. Shades can coordinate with your facility's aesthetics, as canopies can be found in a variety of colors. And sun shade canopies offer so much more protection than the traditional umbrella.

You will find that canopy materials provide maximum sun protection, using UV-inhibited, high-density polyethylene. In addition to protecting the lifeguards, their ability to see swimmers in the water is improved significantly. To further improve visual effectiveness, the sun shade has a full range of adjustability, helping to reduce glare. It tilts side-to-side and front-to-back, and you can also make up-and-down adjustments.

To be highly effective, guard stations should be designed to improve your lifeguards' ability to prevent accidents. Research shows that it is much better for lifeguards to stand and walk from time to time than to sit for long periods. By remaining more active, lifeguards stay more alert and attentive. You can find guard stations with platforms allowing lifeguards to sit as well as stand, continually changing their position. These stations are closer to the pool's edge, with steps in the front. This allows the lifeguard easier access to the station, as well as the water's edge. What's more, being closer to the pool's surface means your lifeguard can communicate more easily with swimmers, further improving his or her effectiveness.

When combining this lifeguard station with an adjustable sun shade, you improve the guards' visual effectiveness. Not only are you protecting your lifeguards' health, but your patrons' lives as well.

Paragon Aquatics, a Division of
Pentair Water Pool and Spa Inc.:
888-KDI-SWIM (534-7946)