Lifeguards: a forgotten aspect of drowning prevention

Authors

  • David C. Schwebel University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Heather N Jones University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Erika Holder University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Francesca Marciani Department of Psychology, Oberlin College

Keywords:

drowning, lifeguards, injury, surveillance

Abstract

An alarming number of drownings occur in lifeguarded swimming areas, where one might presume swimmers are protected from injury.  One reason drownings occur in lifeguarded swimming areas is because lifeguard surveillance is a highly difficult task.  Observational research suggests lifeguards are usually alert, but researchers also report egregious examples of inattention.  We offer three strategies that have initial empirical support to reduce risk of drowning at lifeguarded swimming areas: (a) regular training to help lifeguards recognize they are vulnerable to drowning events and to raise their confidence; (b) regular practice via simulated emergency responses, and (c) addressing staff schedules so lifeguards can devote full attention to protecting swimmer safety while on duty.

 

J Inj Violence Res. 2010 Jan; 2(1): 1-3. doi:10.5249/jivr.v2i1.32

Author Biography

David C. Schwebel, University of Alabama at Birmingham

Associate Professor and Vice Chair

UAB Department of Psychology

Published

2009-07-26

How to Cite

Schwebel, D. C., Jones, H. N., Holder, E., & Marciani, F. (2009). Lifeguards: a forgotten aspect of drowning prevention. Journal of Injury and Violence Research, 2(1), 1–3. Retrieved from https://jivresearch.org/jivr/index.php/jivr/article/view/32

Issue

Section

Commentary

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