Swimming Pool Policy for Wearing Life Jackets

SwimmerThe Winston-Salem Recreation and Parks Department has enacted a new swimming policy for city pools. The new policy is intended to enhance the safety of all pool patrons. Wrist bands and life jackets will be issued.

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

Life jackets will not be required in kiddie pool, sprayground and the water play areas at Kimberley Park pool, Bolton Park 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.

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.

Red Band
  • Children who do not pass the swim test will wear a red wrist band and must wear a life jacket in the pool.
  • Red wrist bands cannot go past the first lane rope (water is less than 31/2 feet deep).
  • Red wrist bands cannot do down the slide.
  • Life jackets are not required in the spraygrounds or water play area.
  • Only pool-issue or U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets may be worn.
Green Band
  • Green wrist bands will be given to children who pass a swim test.
  • Green wrist bands may go anywhere in the pool or aquatic center.
Yellow Band

Over 48 Inches Tall

  • Yellow wrist bands and life jackets must be worn in the pool by anyone over 48 inches tall who does not pass a swim test.
  • Lifeguards may ask you to take a swim test if you appear to be a poor or non-swimmer.
  • Yellow wrist bands may go anywhere in the pool except past the second lane rope (cannot go in the deep end).
  • Yellow wrist bands cannot go down the slide. 

Pool Policies

  • No swimmer wearing a life jacket may go off the diving board.
  • Swimmers may not remove life jackets to use the diving board or go down the slide.
  • Swimmers may be asked at any time to take a swim test. Swimmers who refuse to take the test must leave the pool grounds.
  • 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.
  • 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.

More In-depth Pool Rules for the Winston Lake Aquatic Center coming soon. 

Pool attire - babies, children, adults
Dates and times that pools are open
Find a pool near you! Addresses and phone numbers
Free swim lessons information



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