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Lifeguards work at Brittany Beach of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on June 24, 2022.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Ontario has lowered the minimum age requirement to become a lifeguard to 15 years old.

The age requirement was previously 16 years, and the change is meant to address staffing shortages across the province.

The province says the change aligns with updated requirements from the Lifesaving Society’s certification course.

Health Minister Sylvia Jones says the lowered age will help keep community pools and recreational camp waterfronts open and safe.

The lowered age also applies to becoming an assistant lifeguard and an aquatic instructor.

The changes went into effect Friday.

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