Friday, July 2, 2021, Texas: As Americans head back to beaches and pools this summer, there is a new warning for families: Swim at their own risk. Some parts of the country are experiencing a dire lifeguard shortage. Pool openings were actually delayed in Texas with reported that hundreds of lifeguard jobs were still available in early June.
National Water Safety Expert Jesse Guerra said, “Pool shortages and fewer lifeguards drastically increase the risk of swimming accidents and drownings. Parents should be on higher alert than usual for keeping their children and families safe. In addition to the key swim safety tips, families must be aware of this increased danger due to the lack of lifeguards this summer season.”
Tom Gill, Vice President of the U.S. Lifesaving Association, said, “There’s no substitute for safety, and the lifeguards are a part of the safety chain. The pandemic is largely to blame for the shortage. Towns are not able to hire, train, and certify new lifeguards fast enough, just as more Americans are flocking to waterfront destinations for the summer.”