New Law Lowers Age for Lifeguards at Summer Camps in New York
Governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law on June 30, 2023, that lowers the minimum age for certified lifeguards at summer camps in New York from 16 to 15. The law is intended to help alleviate the lifeguard shortage that has been affecting many summer camps across the state.
The lifeguard shortage is a nationwide problem, but it is particularly acute in New York. In some parts of the state, there are as few as one lifeguard for every 100 swimmers. This has forced some camps to cancel swimming programs or reduce their hours of operation.
The new law is expected to help address the lifeguard shortage by making it easier for summer camps to hire qualified lifeguards. Under the law, 15-year-olds can be certified as lifeguards if they complete a training program that is approved by the New York State Department of Health. The training program must include instruction in CPR, first aid, and water rescue.
The law also requires summer camps to have a minimum of two lifeguards on duty at all times when swimming is permitted. This is in line with the recommendations of the American Red Cross.
The new law is set to take effect on September 1, 2023. This means that it will not have an impact on the current summer camp season. However, it is expected to help summer camps ensure that they have enough lifeguards on staff for the 2024 summer season.
The new law has been praised by the summer camp industry and by lifeguard organizations. They say that the law will help to keep children safe at summer camps and will also provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills and develop their leadership abilities.
- New Law Lowers Age for Lifeguards at Summer Camps in New York: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/ny-approves-lowering-lifeguard-age-requirement-to-15-to-address-shortage/3740013/
- New York State Department of Health: https://www.health.ny.gov/
- American Red Cross: https://www.redcross.org/