Swimming is a life long sport and exercise option. However, the dangers of water are real. In an effort to make the Y the safest swim environment possible, the following policy began on July 1, 2012.
All swimmers 14 years old and younger are required to pass a swim test before being allowed in a Y pool without a personal flotation device (PFD) or without direct adult supervision. For more information about the test outlined below, contact your nearest Y location.
The swim test consists swimming the length of the longest pool. During the test, youth are asked to:
· Jump into the deep end of the pool, submerge fully, return to the surface and immediately begin swimming without pushing off the wall.
· Swim in a horizontal position on stomach and on top of the water.
· Exit the pool without assistance using either the wall or pool ladder.
· Swim test offerings are as determined by each center to ensure the guard is able to monitor the pool at all times.
· Swim tests can be administered by a certified lifeguard or a Y safety assistant.
Swimmers who pass the swim test:
Swimmers 8 years old and younger must have an adult remain on-site at the pool but may swim without a PFD independently in the pool. Swimmers age 9 and older may use the pool on their own without a PFD and without an adult at the pool with them.
Swimmers who are still working towards passing the test:
Children, 14 years old and younger, who have not passed the test yet, are required to wear a PFD unless he or she is in arm length distance from an adult 18 years or older.
If the child is wearing a Coast Guard-approved PFD, then the adult must be on-site but may monitor their child while using another part of the swimming pool.
If the child is NOT wearing a Coast Guard-approved PFD, then the adult must remain within arms reach of a child (one to one ratio) and be activity monitoring them in water at all times.
Youth who have not passed the swim test may not go down indoor pool slides unless there is a designated Y lifeguard assigned solely to guard the slide. PFDs are not allowed on the slide because of the risk of the jacket getting caught on the slide.
PFDs are not required for any swimmers playing in the spray parks.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Lifeguards have the discretion to mandate a PFD on a swimmer at any time as well as require a swim test for any swimmer at any time.