OUR VIEWS: Let's all be lifeguards

Jun 15, 2012


“Are you a lifeguard?” the boy asked. 

The man chuckled. “No, I am not a lifeguard,” he replied.

It could be observed why the boy may have imagined that. The man, in his mid-20s, was very fit and tan, and wore red swim trunks.

The boy returned to his family group nearby and resumed playing with his siblings. But, he kept glancing back at the man, and within 15 minutes approached the man again.

“Are you sure you're not a lifeguard?” the boy asked.

The man laughed and shook his head. “No, I am not a lifeguard,” he assured the boy.

“You sure look like one,” the boy said, with suspicion.

“No, I am not, I assure you,” the man said.

The boy returned to his family group and played some more. He kept glancing at the man, and soon returned to pose the question once again.

“Are you sure you're not a lifeguard?” the boy asked again.

The man put one hand on the child's head and opened his other outward, moving it back and forth to draw attention to all the people who were at the beach that day.

“Let me tell you,” the man said. “When you're down here, everyone is a lifeguard, OK?”

This moment reminds us that the beach is a fun place for families, especially kids — and whether those children are ours or not, we should all keep an eye out for them. As the man told the boy, we are all lifeguards at the Grand Haven beach.

Every summer, kids wander off and have to be reunited with parents at the beach. Other children meander down the shoreline in play and may run into trouble playing out in the water.

It makes the beach experience safer for all when we observe who is around us when we throw our towel on the sand.

There is a lot of activity and motion going on at the beach. And if we all keep a watch, children won't have to ask whether there is a lifeguard on duty.

We adults and parents will have that covered.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



That is a really good idea...watch out for other peoples children. Unless you have kids of your own. When my children were young and we went to the beach they were never out of my sight. When I saw them wandering down the beach I ran after them. If they looked distressed I was there. When I took my children to the beach I did not sunbathe, or read a book, or nap, or chit chat with my friends. Beach time with my children was beach time with my children.....period. I would never expect someone else to be there for my child. If there are children out there who need someone to keep an eye on them then we need to step up and make sure they're safe. I will do that, but watching my grandkids is always my first priority.


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