Ontario lowers lifeguarding age requirement to 15

Lifeguard watching over public pool Photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

On June 2, the Ontario government announced the age requirement to become a lifeguard, assistant lifeguard, or aquatic instructor has dropped from 16 to 15. This change comes in response to staffing shortages at community pools and recreational waterfronts, as well as the July 2020 decision to lower the age requirement of the national lifeguard certificate from 16 to 15 by the Lifesaving Society.

“Lowering the age for youth to become lifeguards creates more job opportunities for them in a rewarding position that can help keep community pools and recreational camp waterfronts safe,” says Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, in her statement to Ontarians.

The change, effective June 2, 2023, gives more jobs to young Ontarians and creates safer beaches and pools for everyone to enjoy this summer. It also means these operations can extend their hours for increased fun and more aquatic lessons.

If your child is 15 or older and interested in becoming a lifeguard in Ontario, they must earn their Bronze Cross, take Standard First Aid with CPR-C, and pass the National Lifeguard course administered by the Lifesaving Society.

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