Aquatic Safety Policy

Safety first in and around the water

Our aquatics programs are about skill development and fun for everyone — and that begins with water safety. That’s why we’ve established aquatic safety procedures to help keep your child safe while enjoying our indoor and outdoor pools.

Please read the following information regarding Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs), which are Coast Guard-approved life vests and swim test procedures.

Swim test policy

All individuals, members, or guests age 13 and under are required to be swim-tested. The YMCA of MEWSA reserves the right to swim test any individual. If anyone refuses to take a swim test, a red wrist band will be issued. They must remain with arm's reach of a parent at all times and wear a life jacket.

Deep water swim test (green wrist band)

The swimmer must be able to jump into the deep end of the pool, submerge fully, return to the surface and immediately begin swimming without pushing off the wall. They must swim in a horizontal position, on their stomach, and on top of the water for half of the length of the pool in a crawl stroke. No underwater swimming is allowed during testing. The swimmer must float on their back for 10 seconds, then resume swimming in a horizontal position on their stomach, back to the deep end and tread water for 30 seconds. If the swimmer cannot complete all aspects of the test continuously, a green wrist band will not be issued. When a green wrist band is issued, regardless of age, the swimmer can swim without a life jacket, and in any depth of the pool. For ages 6 and under a parent must be in the water within arm's reach of the swimmer, ages 7-11 a parent must be present on the pool deck, and age 12-13 parental supervision is not required.

Shallow water swim test (yellow wrist band)*

Swimmer must be able to maneuver from a vertical position to a horizontal position on either their front or back, swim 10 yards on front or back, then return to a vertical position. If the swimmer cannot complete all aspects of the test continuously, a yellow wrist band will not be issued. When a yellow wrist band is issued swimmer is not required to wear a lifejacket, and may only utilize the shallow area of the pool. For ages 6 and under a parent must be in the water within arm's reach of the swimmer, ages 7-11 a parent must be present on the pool deck, and age 12-13 parental supervision is not required.

Children who cannot pass the deep water or shallow water test (red wrist band)

Swimmers are required to wear a red wrist band and a Personal Flotation Device (PFD), remain in the designated shallow area of the pool, and have a parent within arm's reach at all times.

*Shallow water test not required at all locations. Check your specific site for more information.