National trend: fewer lifeguards at pools

Alex King loves her summer lifeguard job at the Northwest YMCA in Wichita, Kan. She enjoys the steady income and working full time. "I like the responsibility and the thought that people can rely on me," she said — but young people like King, 18, are becoming harder to find.

At a time when pools and waterparks need more lifeguards than ever, intense training and a lack of enthusiasm for being outside have kept some potential guards away.

"I think it's not as popular because people are not as active and swimming as much as they used to," said Doug Kupper, director of the city's Park and Recreation Department.

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