When you assume responsibility as a lifeguard you are not only a trained lifeguard but also a figure of authority and you must dress the part. Although lifeguard uniforms may vary there will be certain elements which are common to lifeguard clothing.
The apparel of lifeguards is made of extremely durable and high quality materials which are also waterproof. Since the garments are exposed long to water and chlorine and salt in the water they must be of superior quality so as not to get discoloured or fade away. It is necessary that the clothing of lifeguards be in top condition all the time as it is one of the ways of recognizing them.
The colour of the lifeguard uniforms will be red in the majority of the cases although black, navy and orange may also be worn. The emphasis is on the fact that whatever colour is worn it should be loud and clearly visible even in water.
Lifeguard t-shirts will all have the lettering ‘LIFEGUARD’ clearly visible on them so that people in or near the water can easily identify the lifeguards. Easy identification of lifeguards is imperative so that people know whom to turn to in case an emergency arises. The font of the lettering should be large and clear and make for easy reading. Small lettering is only passable if the lifeguard is in some sort of a uniform for that particular area and is easily recognizable in that way. The height and thickness of the font should be appropriate and make for quick reading.
It is highly preferable if the lifeguard t-shirt/shirt has the same lettering on the back also as it will further promote the visibility. This is also very practical since it is not necessary that the lifeguard will always be sitting on his chair; he maybe pacing up and down his stretch and the back lettering will clearly make him stand out.
The quality of lifeguard apparel, as mentioned earlier has to be of top quality. It has to be 100% pre-shrunk cotton because cotton is comfortable to wear and being a natural fabric is breathable. This is very useful especially on hot days as lifeguards cannot afford to be feeling uncomfortable in their own clothes. The pre-shrunk factor is necessary because lifeguards are in and out of the water and also have to wash their garments repeatedly; they cannot have the garments shrinking and worrying about the sizes all the time.
The ink used on the lettering on the t-shirts has to be of very good quality and permanent as the t-shirts are washed repeatedly. The lettering should shine and be clear even after innumerable washes and not run or fade away. Good manufacturers put almost three coatings of ink to ensure that it does not lose the colour.
It is very vital that lifeguard clothing be able to provide the flexibility, visibility and durability required by the wearer and should not become an impediment for the wearer carrying out the responsibility.