Communicable Disease Avoidance for Lifeguards

TitleCommunicable Disease Avoidance for Lifeguards
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsDobbins, JG
Conference NameInternational Medical-Rescue Conference
Date Published09/1997
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationSan Diego, California, USA
Call Number09
Other Numbers057
Keywordsdisease avoidance

Lifeguards may be exposed to infectious agents while in the water, on the beach, or in contact with the victim's skin, saliva, or blood. Water-borne infections from polluted water are possible even when fecal coliform counts are low. In general, the risk of infection for lifeguards is high for water-borne infections, moderate to low for infections caused by microbes found in sand, and extremely low for potentially severe, bloodborne infections. Simple preventive steps include avoiding swallowing water while swimming, wearing sandals or shoes while walking on the beach, using pocket masks for resuscitation, avoiding contact with victims' blood, and vaccination for hepatitis B for those guards who do come into contact with blood.