Policies & Procedures

Participant Arrival & Departure

It is the responsibility of each parent or guardian to ensure safe travel for their child to and from the designated Junior Lifeguard Program meeting area. Please discuss, in advance, a designated plan with your child so they understand where, when, and whom to meet.

The City of Seal Beach and the Junior Lifeguard Program are not responsible for participants outside of scheduled Program hours and activities. Parents or guardians are responsible for their children immediately prior to and immediately following scheduled program hours.

Parents or guardians are expected to be prompt when dropping off and picking up their child(ren). The program staff understands there may be some situations beyond a person's control which will cause them to arrive late to pick up their child. In the event a situation arises which will make you more than 20 minutes late, please make every attempt to notify the Program staff.

Instruction & Supervision

The Junior Lifeguards are instructed by qualified Ocean Lifeguards. All of the instructors have successfully completed an intensive United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) certified Open Water Lifeguard training course. Instructors are also certified in Emergency First Aid and CPR for the Professional Rescuer. Many of the instructors have prior experience working with children either as coaches or teachers.

During the period of instruction, participants are also under the watchful eye of on-duty beach lifeguards in addition to the close supervision provided by the instructors.

Mandatory Participation Policy

The Junior Lifeguard Program is not a day care program, it requires daily participation in rigorous physical activity (i.e. running and swimming). If your child is not fully able to participate due to an injury or illness which inhibits participation in any given activity please do not send your child to Junior Lifeguards. Instructors cannot maintain adequate supervision of their group when there is not full participation in each activity.

All program participants must be able to swim, enter the ocean readily, and participate in water activities. Parents should be aware that ocean swims are a daily part of the program. Your child will be required to swim the distance of the pier at least once during the course of the program. During the first week, all Junior Guards must demonstrate the ability to enter the water readily and without hesitation, as well as the ability to swim a given distance without requiring instructor assistance. If, after the first week, your child cannot or does not demonstrate these abilities you will be asked to reconsider your child's participation in the Program.

Attendance Policy

Attendance is taken daily for all groups in the Junior Lifeguard Program. Regular attendance is encouraged and will allow participants to fully benefit from the program. However, if your child cannot fully participate in the day's activities please do not send your child to Junior Guards. Please notify your child's instructor if your child will be absent more than two days in a row. When your child returns from an absence please send a written note with him or her.

Participants are instructed on important ocean skills and physical conditioning techniques that are introduced on a daily basis and build cumulatively throughout the seven-week program. Extended absences of more than one week are not recommended. Program fees will not be prorated or refunded for extended absences.

Participant Discipline Policy

For the Junior Lifeguard Program to be successful, participants must exhibit behavior that is respectful of staff and other participants as well as our equipment and facilities. Group activities are vital to our program. A student who is disruptive to group activities and disrespectful to instructors diminishes the enjoyment and education of the other participants.

The intent of discipline is to gain compliance while instructing the student in acceptable behavior. On the first day of the program your child will be given a copy of the "General Orders". The instructor will go over each of the rules with your child. Both you and your child will be asked to sign and return the "General Orders" to your child's instructor. The following expected behaviors comprise the "General Orders". Please familiarize your child and yourself with the "General Orders".

  • Report to designated area on-time each day wearing your Junior Lifeguard uniform.
  • Display the utmost courtesy to all persons with whom you come in contact, i.e. do not run over or near the belongings of people on the beach and do not get too close to swimmers when surfing and body boarding.
  • Respect fellow Junior Lifeguards and their personal gear.
  • Treat all department equipment with respect. You are responsible for the equipment that you are using--do not give equipment to someone else or leave it on the beach.
  • Practice good sportsmanship, especially during competitions.
  • NEVER make vulgar gestures or use vulgar language.
  • Assert a positive attitude with regards to all activities and instruction.
  • Give ALL instructors your full attention at all times.
  • Act immediately when requested by instructors and/or lifeguard personnel.
  • DO NOT make any false reports to your instructor regarding injury or illness in order to avoid participating in any activity. Such behavior will result in immediate disciplinary action.
  • Preserve the beach environment, keeping it a clean and safe place. Remember to throw litter in the trash--do not leave it on the beach!
  • Seal Beach Junior Lifeguards must remember that they represent the Program, the Lifeguard Department, and the City of Seal Beach. They should be courteous to the public at all times.

The Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard staff follows a progressive discipline procedure. The steps for a minor discipline situation are as follows:

  1. First occurrence - participant will be counseled about the situation and given an explanation of what behavioral change is expected.
  2. Subsequent occurrence - the participant may be asked to do push-ups, a supervised swim, or run of reasonable distance. The participant should spend this time reflecting on the incident and what they could have done differently.
  3. If a participant has a series of discipline situations in the same day or over several days, the instructor will inform the Junior Lifeguard Director who will then inform the participant's parent or guardian about the situation.
  4. If a participant continually disregards the instructor or shows little or no improvement in behavior with steps 1 through 3, the student will be suspended from the Program for a period of time not to exceed five days. There will be no prorated refund of fees.
  5. If, after suspension, the participant's behavior is still not acceptable, the parent or guardian of the participant will be informed that the student may no longer attend the Program. There will be no refund of fees.

Major first-time incidents may progress the participant directly to step 4 or 5 of the above disciplinary process. Major incidents include:

  • Truancy
  • Insubordination
  • Fighting with another participant or other person
  • Unlawful or non-consensual touching of another person
  • Stealing
  • Vandalism
  • Possession or participation with alcohol, illegal drugs, or any type of weapon
  • Other conduct that brings disrespect to the Junior Lifeguard Program or the City of Seal Beach

Any time a major behavioral problem or incident occurs, the Lifeguard Captain shall be advised.


In addition to the age groups previously mentioned, Junior Lifeguard participants will be divided into individual instructor led groups. These groups will be determined primarily by physical ability. In order to facilitate adequate supervision of each participant during daily activities it is necessary that each group member be of similar ability.

Switching groups so that participants may be with their friends will not be considered.

Daily Requirements

All Junior Lifeguards will report to the designated meeting area at 9:00 a.m. SHARP and will leave the beach at 12:00 noon. Parents and guardians are responsible for their children after program hours.

All Junior Lifeguards are expected to participate in ALL activities (excluding field trips and/or Regionals). Participants should be on time, in full uniform, and prepared for their session on the beach (i.e. sand, sun, fog, cold weather, exercise, lectures, etc.). Daily, Junior Lifeguards should:

  • Be in full uniform (required) - Junior Lifeguard t-shirt, navy shorts, navy swim suit
  • Bring towel/warm clothing (highly recommended) - Example: Junior Lifeguard sweatshirt
  • Bring sun protection (highly recommended) - Sunscreen, navy or black rash guard
  • Bring a snack (highly recommended) - Healthy snacks and lots of water
  • Bring a duffle bag/back pack for personal gear (highly recommended)
  • Have a positive and enthusiastic attitude (required)