Summer is the perfect time to head out to the pool
. Swimming is a great way to cool off from the hot sunshine and the sun-warmed water is never too cold to dive right in. Of course, not everyone at the pool is splashing around in the water. Lifeguards, often teenagers and young college students out of school for the season, are posted on those high wooden stands keeping everyone safe from drowning, but who is keeping them safe from the sun? Even when the stands have awnings, and they don't always, lifeguards are actually at the highest risk of anyone at the pool for dangerous overheating. If you are a pool owner or manager, one of the best things you can do for employees and customers alike is keeping your lifeguards cool.
The Risks of Overheating
Lifeguard stands are some of the hottest places to be during the summer, and pools across the country have developed their own systems for keeping their lifeguards safe. Unfortunately, when these are forgotten or fall short, your lifeguards become light headed and sick from the heat. This is not only dangerous for them, it also means that they are no longer aware of the swimmers or capable of rescuing them. It's vitally important that your lifeguards keep their body temperatures down before someone gets hurt and/or you find yourself facing legal action.
Stop-Gap Cooling Solutions
The most basic way to deal with this problem is by ensuring that no lifeguard stays on active duty for longer than about 20 minutes. Even if you don't have any other heat beating solutions, keeping your lifeguards switching off on short shifts gives them the opportunity to dive into the pool briefly and spend some time with the fans or AC in your office.
Longer shifts, up to 40 minutes, become possible if you have secondary solutions. Another simple way to tend your to your lifeguards is by sending someone around with bottles of water and a bucket of ice water with wash-rags. Lifeguards can use the icy wash-rags to cool and moisten their skin, effectively lowering their body temperature. However, both of these solutions require constant upkeep from your lifeguards and other employees and are difficult to maintain with smaller staff sizes, especially if someone calls in sick.
Misting Fans on the Lifeguard Stands
Rather than relying on a system that requires constant shift changing or tending to your lifeguards, why not simply make the lifeguard stands themselves safer to spend time in? First make sure each stand has some kind of awning to protect your lifeguards from the heat, one with a back is ideal to block the most sun possible. Then you can lower the ambient temperature with a misting fan
which can be easily attached to each stand. These fans blow fine droplets of cool water into the air, effectively pulling the heat out and providing extra moisture to keep your lifeguards cool. The water comes from either a hose or a reservoir that can be refilled during shift change and made extra comfy with a handful of ice cubes.
Misting is a wonderful solution for any hot environment and with this small addition to your stands, you'll soon have lifeguards clamoring to get on duty and enjoy the misty luxury of a cool space in the summer sun. Overheating incidents will become practically unheard of because your lifeguards always have a source of cooling moisture during their shift. Of course, customers love the cooling power of mist as well. Once you start misting, you can put misting nozzles and fans anywhere from the umbrellas to the snack bar, creating delightful ways for everyone to stay cool in and out of the water.