Kids to the Rescue!
What it takes to be a lifeguard at the beach.
Have you ever wondered what to do if you see a person drowning in the ocean? Or what would you do if you were caught in an ocean riptide? This summer I found out the answers to those questions and more. I just finished a junior lifeguard course at my local beach. It was not only fun, I also learned a lot about the ocean. Learning about the ocean is very important because sometimes the ocean can be dangerous.
During this course, I was with around 30 kids from the ages of 11 to 15. You have to be in great shape to be a lifeguard. Each class started with a far run on the beach. I have to admit this was my least favorite part—it is not easy to run in the sand!
After that we would do a long distance swim in the ocean. Then we went through several different activities and drills. For one drill we had to carry a partner on our backs and run a short distance. I didn’t realize lifeguards had to practice carrying people.
We also practiced doing an actual rescue. It was a little difficult, but when I brought my pretend victim in, I felt good. We even had to practice how to jump off the lifeguard chair and run into the ocean. That was so much fun.
I think the most important thing I learned was how to spot a riptide in the water and what to do if I get caught in one.
If you ever get caught in a riptide remember this: DON'T PANIC, and don’t attempt to swim against the current back to shore. Wave your arms to get the attention of the lifeguard or anyone on shore. Then swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current.
At the end of the course there was a competition between participants of all the junior life guard programs at other local beaches. It was fun to show off all the skills we learned. I think all kids should take a junior life saving course. You should see if your town offers a program like this, especially if you live near the ocean. Who knows, you may save someone’s life someday!