The Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department has announced enhanced policies and procedures for city swimming pools:
- 1. A second safety line has been added in the shallow water to create a restricted area for non-experienced swimmers. This is in addition to the safety line that designates the deep end for diving.
- 2. Effective immediately the minimum adult-to-child ratio for day cares, day camps and other groups that visit the pools is changed to one adult for every 10 children or fewer in the water. Visiting groups should bring at least two counselors for every 10 children, so that the 1-10 ratio is maintained in the event that an adult must accompany a child to the restroom or the concession stand. All camp counselors age 18 and up will be admitted free of charge because they also have a responsibility to assist with watching their children.
- 3. A wristband system is being implemented to enhance the safety of the children with groups.
- Red wristbands identify children age 5 and younger. All children wearing a red wristband must stay in the wading pool, water playground, concessions or deck area. Children wearing red wristbands are prohibited from the big pool.
- Yellow wristbands identify weak swimmers. All children wearing a yellow wristband will be allowed to play in the shallow area of the newly established section of the pool.
- Green wristbands identify the swimmers. These swimmers have passed a swim test at the swimming pool they are visiting. All children wearing a green wristband may swim in any area of the pool and may use the diving boards.
- 4. Day care staff will designate swimmers and non-swimmers upon arrival; if the staff does not know a child’s swimming ability, the child will receive a yellow wristband if at least 6 years of age.
Recreation and Parks Director Tim Grant said the changes will make it easier for the pool staff to enhance swimmer safety. “The wrist band system will make it easier for lifeguards to know at a glance if a child is in the appropriate area of the pool, and it will give day care supervisors a clearer understanding of where their children should be.”
Swim lessons are available at all city-operated pools.