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Q:

What is the recommended ratio of lifeguards to swimmers in a swimming pool?

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The Red Cross does not make recommendations for lifeguard-to-patron ratios. It is recommended that you first check with your state and local health codes to determine if there are requirements in place. Some state and local health codes specify that a certain number of lifeguards must be on duty for a given number of patrons. For example, a county health code may specify that for every XX patrons in the water, the facility must have one lifeguard on surveillance duty. Other codes may have guidelines based on ratios of pool surface area to number of lifeguards. In some cases, however, state and local health codes do not specify a number of lifeguards on duty per number of patrons. Management of the aquatic facility may set this ratio taking into consideration the many factors that influence patron surveillance, such as activities and structures within the facility and by using the above examples as a guide.
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