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Hochul approves hiring 15-year-old lifeguards at summer camps

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul has given the green light for summer camps to employ lifeguards as young as 15 years old, as part of a strategy to tackle the acute lifeguard shortage in the state.

However, the new measure, which lowers the age requirement from the current 16 years, won’t affect this year’s summer camps since it is set to take effect three months from now.

The lowered age requirement is a bid to address staffing issues in public pools and swimming areas across the state. Lawmakers underscored that despite their age, the young lifeguards would still need to meet the same certification requirements as their older counterparts.

A provision in the bill also limits the number of under-17 lifeguards working at one time, and mandates supervision by a camp aquatics director.

In defense of the decision, lawmakers noted that summer camp pools tend to be better regulated and staffed than municipal pools, making them an ideal place for a first lifeguard job.

They also highlighted additional supervision from camp counselors and stringent regulations, including mandated lifeguard-to-camper ratios and thorough assessment of each camper’s swimming skills.

Categories: New York StateNews