Do not wear lifeguard apparel unless you are a lifeguard
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Lifeguard hoodies may look cool but wearing one when you are not a certified lifeguard is definitely not cool.
I see many people sporting lifeguard attire, especially around the summertime. There is just something about the lifeguard aesthetic that people seem to like. However, before you put on that red and white hoodie, consider this: If someone needs medical attention, do you want them to come to you?
I’ve done lifeguard training in the past and knowing first-hand how many years of training and skills are needed to become a certified lifeguard, I think it’s ridiculous that people who aren’t lifeguards wear these clothes. Without any formal training, it can also be dangerous if people assume you are a lifeguard and come to you for help.
In fact, it’s not just lifeguard apparel that irks me. Anything that says you have an important job such as a police officer, firefighter, paramedic, or anything else that involves dealing with people’s lives and wellbeing should not be worn unless you are trained and certified in that job. Some may make the argument that it promotes lifeguards and other lifesaving jobs in a positive light. However, I think that it dilutes the profession; since literally anyone can buy these hoodies, it makes the role seem more like a brand than a reputable job. I think it also devalues the training that they have to go through. If anyone can get that hoodie then it makes the actual work lifeguards and lifesavers have to do seem not as important, or suggests that literally anybody can be a lifeguard.
By wearing this clothing, you are advertising your services as a first responder. This means if someone is in dire need of first aid or medical assistance then people are going to come to you first because, as your hoodie says, you are trained to save lives. If you let them know that you are not actually a trained lifeguard and only wearing the shirt because you thought it looked cool, or if for some reason you don’t tell them and are thrust into a first-aid situation that you may not have the training, knowledge, or capability to handle, it can turn into a potentially life-threatening situation.
I don’t think these pieces of clothing should be sold to the general public out of a concern for public health and safety. If you really want to wear one, that’s up to you, but at least look up how to do CPR first, just in case.