For the first time in 25 years the Province has updated its Pool Admission Standards , which means new rules for little ones swimming in public pools.
If you have a child seven years of age or younger be prepared to enter the pool with your little one the next time you go for a public swim.
New Provincial regulations stipulate that children in this age group must be within arms reach of a guardian at all times, regardless of their swimming ability.
The legislation also limits the number of children per guardian to a 1:2 ratio for this age group (0-7). That is one guardian to two children.
In order to qualify as a guardian you must be 14 years of age or older.
The updated rules also require 8 and 9 year olds to complete a swim test if they want to swim independently (without a guardian).
Children 10 years of age or older may enter the pool area independent of a guardian but swimming with a buddy is strongly recommended.
Director of Recreation Sherri Walden welcomes the new rules saying even with Lifeguards on deck, we can never be too careful.
She says a parent knows a child’s swimming abilities much better than a lifeguard, adding that by keeping a child within arms reach it will greatly reduce the number of near drowning in public and municipal pools across
The updated Pool Admission Standards also sets a limit to the amount of children wearing PDFs that can be assigned to one guardian.
Under the new rules one guardian may supervise up to five children wearing lifejackets.
Walden says keeping a child within arm’s reach is the best way to protect your children from drowning and near drowning.
She adds providing your child with swimming lessons is one of the best preventative actions you can do to ensure water safety.
Walden says we live in a region surrounded by water, swimming is a lifesaving skill that every child should have.
The new Pool Admission Standard is part of the Health Protection and Promotion Act.