Life Jacket and Swim Test Policy

Woman holding a child in a poolCity Wide Swim Test and Life Jacket Policy

The Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department has enacted a swimming policy for the safety of all swimmers at city pools. The policy is intended to enhance the safety of all pool patrons, by providing lifeguards and caregivers with knowledge of each child's swimming ability. Wrist bands and life jackets will be issued to children who do not demonstrate strong swimming ability.

Children under 48 inches tall who do not pass a swim test will be required to wear life jackets at city pools. Under most circumstances, those over 48 inches tall will also be required to wear life jackets.

Required Areas

Life jackets will not be required in sprayground and the water playground areas at Kimberley Park pool, Bolton Park pool, Parkland pool, Polo pool, Mineral Springs pool and the Winston Lake Aquatic Center. The city will provide life jackets. Patrons may bring their own life jackets if they have a stamp indicating that they are Coast Guard approved and pass inspection from the lifeguards.

Swim Test/ Life Jacket Policies

Please review the following pool policies:

  • All children attending a pool with day-care or summer-camp groups will be required to take swim tests and follow the wrist-band policy.
  • No swimmer wearing a life jacket may go off the diving board.
  • Swimmers may be asked at any time to take a swim test. Swimmers who refuse to take the test will receive either a red or yellow wrist band and be issued a life jacket.
  • Swimmers may not remove life jackets to use the diving board or go down the slide.
  • Swimmers with red or yellow wrist bands who are in the wrong section of the pool will be asked to sit out for 15 minutes. The second time, they must leave the pool grounds.

Swim Test

The swim test consists of treading water for one minute and swimming 25 yards without touching the bottom. As the staff at a particular pool gets to know the children who attend often, lifeguards may issue green wrist bands to children who they know can swim, without administering a swim test.

  1. Red Wristband
  2. Yellow Wristband
  3. Green Wristband

Children who do not pass the swim test will wear a red wrist band and must wear a life jacket in the pool, please review the Red Wristbandfollowing to learn about red wristbands:

  • Life jackets are not required in the spraygrounds or water play area.
  • Only pool-issued or U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets may be worn.
  • Red wristbands may not use the slide.
  • Red wristbands cannot go past the first lane rope (water is less than 3 1/2 feet deep).