Making admission standards work
There were three deaths in Ontario public pools between 1995 and
2004. Investigations into these deaths led to many recommendations.
One of the most important was to implement the Lifesaving Society
"Bather Admission" standard, which enhances safety among young
non-swimmers by requiring direct supervision by parents or
guardians. But equally important is an administrative system to
execute this standard - it's good to have a standard, but it has to
Enhance the safety of your facility and reduce the chance of
drowning by implementing a bather admission standard today.
or call 416-490-8844.
In 1996, the Society published the Bather Admission standard in
the Guide to Ontario Public Pools Regulation. Many
affiliates and lifeguards have implemented it while others are
asking how to do so. There are several levels of safety to
- Educate the public before they show up at the
facility by communicating the admission policy in the community
newsletter, program guide or corporate website.
- Train the cashier or front-desk personnel.
This staff should be asking specific questions when people come
through the front doors. A prearranged script of questions and
actions should be provided to these staff and they should be
trained in their use.
- Use an identification system. Lifeguards
should know who requires direct supervision or swim testing. Using
the familiar stoplight model, the City of Cambridge implemented the
"Green, Yellow and Red" system. The city bands children at the
cashier desk to identify non-swimmers under 10 who require direct
supervision (red bands), those between six and nine who are
unaccompanied and require a swim test to remain in the pool area
(yellow bands), and swimmers (green bands). Note: those
with yellow bands who pass the swim test receive green bands.